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‘Fugitive’ skating coach denies sealed criminal charges

A figure skating coach who once competed at the Olympics for the former Soviet Union is denying sealed criminal charges filed in New York, his attorney said Wednesday.

Genrich Sretenski was arrested Tuesday in Maryland as a fugitive on the charges. Authorities in New York have declined to make public the accusations against the 50-year-old coach except to say they involve an alleged incident last year in Lake Placid, a hub of figure skating training and competition.

Sretenski, who was born in Moscow, competed on ice across Europe in the 1980s. In 1988, he and Natalia Annenko placed fourth at the Olympic Games in Calgary.

Attorney Rene Sandler said the charges stem from an alleged incident 13 months ago but she declined to release details and noted those details remained under seal. But she said the coach adamantly denies the accusations and she would vigorously defend him.

“He denies anything improper. Yes, absolutely,” Sandler said, adding that the coach “is a very, very well respected coach in the figure skating community.”

Sretenski, who is being held in suburban Howard County outside Baltimore, awaits a scheduled bail review hearing Thursday. He is facing extradition to New York.

Sandler wouldn’t say whether her client would fight extradition. “That’s a decision that the client has to make and I don’t feel comfortable commenting about that process until a decision has been made,” Sandler said.