OLYMPIC CHAMPION APPEALS TO PUTIN

Alexander Tikhonov, four times Olympic biathlon champion, has appealed to President Vladimir Putin to intervene for him with the investigators. The sportsman is accused of plotting to assassinate Aman Tuleyev, Kemerovo regional governor (Siberia). In an open letter to the federal President, he contends the investigating team trampls on his civil rights, RIA Novosti reports. In need of urgent surgery, Mr. Tikhonov is stranded in Novosibirsk as the investigators do not authorize his trip to Moscow even after several top-notch Novosibirsk surgeons have concluded that the patient should be operated in a Moscow hospital as local hospitals do not have necessary equipment available.