Moscow court rejects Russian athlete’s defamation suit

Moscow, Jan 19 (IANS) A Moscow court has rejected a defamation lawsuit filed by Russian athlete Kristina Ugarova against German TV channel ARD.

The Dorogomilovsky Court of Moscow held hearings on a lawsuit on the protection of honour and dignity of Russian runner Ugarova, who insisted that German TV channel ARD aired slander against her, reports Tass.

“Having heard both sides in the case, the court ruled against Ugarova’s complaints against the ARD broadcaster,” the court’s spokesperson Yevgeniya Gorokhova said on Wednesday.

The Russian athlete demanded that the German broadcaster deleted all copies of its documentary series on the alleged doping abuse in Russian sports and retracted its statements in regard to her.

Ugarova’s lawyer Alexander Karabanov said TASS that his client did not agree with the court’s ruling and the appeal should follow.

“We believe that the court’s verdict today was illegitimate, we disagree with it and will be filing an appeal with the Moscow City Court,” Karabanov said on Wednesday.

Late last year, Ugarova said that her interview used in one of the parts of the German series of documentaries, directed by Hajo Seppelt, was misinterpreted.

The athlete said she was speaking about one matter in the recording used by ARD, but the translation used in the film voiced another matter on purpose.

Russian ex-doping official Vitaly Stepanov and his wife, Russian runner Yulia Stepanova, were in the centre of a series of documentaries on alleged doping abuse in Russian sports aired by German TV Channel ARD in December 2014.