Russia

Former Russian Olympics Official Claims He's Been Poisoned

Had been fired due to cost overruns

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A former Olympic official who fled Russia after President Vladimir Putin criticised him for delays and cost overruns before the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi claims he has been poisoned.

Akhmed Bilalov, fired as deputy head of the Russian Olympic Committee in February, said on Saturday that doctors had discovered elevated mercury levels in his blood. He is receiving treatment in Germany.

"They have found elevated levels of mercury in my body," Bilalov told the Interfax news agency, confirming Russian press reports. "I didn't want to announce this before, but now that the press has found out, I'm forced to confirm it."