Russian cross-country skier Ilya Chernousov has denied suggestions by coach Yuri Borodavko that he is an "anonymous informer" involved in the doping "conspiracy" against two team-mates with whom he shared a podium at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
Chernousov finished third in a home clean sweep of the medals in the 50 kilometres mass start cross country event in Sochi behind Alexander Legkov and Maxim Vylegzhanin.
Both Legkov and Vylegzhanin have been stripped of their medals by an International Olympic Committee (IOC) Disciplinary Commission but are planning to launch appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
They were both identified in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-commissioned McLaren Report as athletes who had their urine samples illegally tampered with to mask doping during the Games.
Chernousov has not yet been accused of wrongdoing and could theoretically be upgraded to the gold medal position.
"He [Chernousov] can be calm only for one reason," Borodavko, head coach of the Russian men's cross country team, told gazeta.ru.
"He is also in this conspiracy, he hands over his partners and comrades with whom he has been going to the top for a long time.
"Now he looks, giggling, wanting to get this medal.
"Maybe he's just one of those anonymous informers."
Chernousov has already rejected this claim, however, and insisted he is fully focused on training for Pyeongchang 2018.
"I think you understand perfectly well that this is a bluff," the 31-year-old was quoted as saying on sibkray.ru.
"I'm at the training camp with the team, we have a busy training schedule.
"I would like to fully focus on the work now."
Chernousov has been defended by other Russian officials.
"The statement of the coach of the national team undermines the authority of the honoured master of sports, prize-winner of the Olympic Games," Viktor Zakharov, general director of the Novosibirsk Center for Higher Sports Excellence, where the skier trains, said.
"A few months to the new Games, and putting such a powerful psychological blow to one of the leaders of the national team is wrong."
Russian Ski Federation President Elena Vyalbe told Sport Express that Borodavko must have evidence to back-up his claims.
"I have no right to blame the athlete or another person for being someone's informant," she said.