January 30, 2015 / 1:16 PM / 5 years ago

Olympic champion Zaitseva named Russia caretaker coach

Russia's Olga Zaitseva competes in the women's 10 km pursuit competition of the IBU World Cup Biathlon event in Kontiolahti, eastern Finland March 16, 2014. REUTERS/Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Double Olympic champion Olga Zaitseva took over as caretaker head coach of the Russian biathlon team with her sport dogged by a string of positive doping cases in the past months.

The 36-year-old, who won relay gold at the 2006 and 2010 winter Olympics and also won a silver medal in the mass start in Vancouver in 2010, had announced her retirement earlier this month.

“I received a lot of offers – from the Russian Biathlon Union (SBR), from the Sports ministry and the Moscow Department of Sport,” Zaitseva told a news conference.

“I talked everything through with the president of the SBR, Alexander Kravtsov. He offered me the chance to become the caretaker head coach of the Russian team.”

“I am an ambitious person and I accepted an offer. My aim is to get better results and make sure our sport is clean.”

Russia has not had a biathlon head coach since the 2012-13 season and several athletes have tested positive for banned substances in the past 12 months alone as the country is dogged by doping problems across several sports.

Editing by Karolos Grohmann

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