The Russian whistleblower who revealed a widespread system of doping in the country is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit against him and filed a countersuit Monday in New York against Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and three Russian biathletes. Attorneys for Grigory Rodchenkov, the former Moscow lab director, filed a motion to dismiss a libel lawsuit biathletes Olga Zaytseva, Yana Romanova and Olga Vilukhina filed in New York Supreme Court in February seeking $30 million in damages from Rodchenkov.
That lawsuit has been financed by Prokhorov, the billionaire oligarch who has publicly defended Russian athletes implicated in the system of doping Rodchenkov revealed. The countersuit aims to identify other backers of the lawsuit and seeks unspecified damages. “With today’s filings, the hunted becomes the hunter,” Jim Walden, Rodchenkov’s attorney, said in a statement. “Russia and its puppets have been persistently attacking Dr. Rodchenkov for too long, most recently with this frivolous lawsuit that parrots the Kremlin’s slander. Today’s legal action by Dr. Rodchenkov provides ample testament to the baseless nature of this Prokhorov-financed claim, which I believe was intended for the single purpose of attempting to locate Dr. Rodchenkov. In throwing this feeble punch, the plaintiffs and their oligarch financier should have better understood the laws of the state of New York, which fully protect Dr. Rodchenkov from attempts to use the courts as a means of retaliation and intimidation.”
Los Angeles Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari shared his opinion on EuroLeague this season, and who are the favorites for winning the championship title. “It’s very tough, I think the favorites are Fenerbahce, Madrid, Olympiakos is really good… CSKA is the best team right now.”
Even as the Russian team faces up to being barred from next month’s Winter Games for doping offenses, audiences are flocking to see a movie about Soviet glory on the Olympic basketball court 46 years ago. “Going Vertical” tells the story of the Soviet Union team which won gold in 1972, becoming the first basketball team in history ever to beat the United States at the Olympics.
Actor Kuzma Saprykin used his childhood basketball experience to play Ivan Edeshko, who threw what Russians still call the “golden pass” for the Soviets’ winning basket. “I didn’t think there would actually be this kind of colossal success,” he told The Associated Press. “It’s surprising when people send me videos, how at practically every screening people are clapping, with some kind of patriotism and spirit awakening in people.”
By his side during that fateful 2011-12 Lakers season was Ettore Messina, a four-time Euroleague champion who’s now an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs. At the time Messina had plans to go back overseas for his second stint as CSKA Moscow’s head coach. When he did, he asked Snyder to join him.
“I was always curious about basketball over there in the Euroleague,” Snyder told VICE Sports. “I followed the Euroleague for quite some time, and when [Messina] decided to go back to CSKA, he asked me if I wanted to join him as an assistant. So, I don’t know if it was difficult as it was unusual to try and think about what that would be like. My wife, Amy, was really supportive. We had two young kids. So on a personal level, we were doing something that was a little unusual, but we were excited to have the life experience, to be honest with you.”