Olympic silver medallist Yana Romanova of Russia has claimed she is not guilty of doping after being provisionally suspended by the International Biathlon Union (IBU).
Her comments follow the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko urging officials to be careful when being interviewed, following anti-doping revelations in a New York Times article.
Romanova, a member of the Russian relay team which won the silver medal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, was implicated in the findings of the second part of the McLaren Report.
It revealed 31 biathletes were implicated in a state-sponsored doping scheme, involving over 1,000 athletes from more than 30 sports, which was in operation at major events between 2011 and 2015.
Romanova was one of two Russian biathletes to have been provisionally suspended, along with Olga Vilukhina, after they were named in the McLaren Report as having their samples tampered with as scratch marks were found on their bottles.
However, there is no indication that the pair were deliberately taking performance-enhancing drugs.
"I am sure that all my doping samples are clean and I have nothing to hide,” Romanova told TASS.
“However, taking a look at the recent developments surrounding our sport, all reports, lists and blanket bans of our athletes, I do understand that the situation can be changed that I will have to be defending myself."
"The only question is to what I have to defend myself from - from scratches on my doping sample bottles.”
The interview comes after a senior serving Russian anti-doping official denied admitting that the country operated an "institutional conspiracy" during the Sochi 2014 following comments published in the New York Times.
Anna Antseliovich, the acting director general of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), supposedly admitted the nature of an operation which is thought to have implicated dozens of home medal winners.
But RUSADA then backtracked, claiming that the comments were taken out of context and instead referred to Antseliovich describing the findings of the McLaren report.
A full transcript has not yet been released, but the New York Times insist their quotes are accurate.
Mutko has urged Russian officials to be more careful when giving interviews on the subject of doping in sport and said journalists often deliberately misquote officials for their own personal agendas.
“They all want to frame the information from their own angle, purposely misinterpreting the words,” Mutko said.
“Anna Antselovich has already provided her excessive commentary regarding this issue."
Russian President Vladimir Putin also denied last week that the nation ever had a state-sponsored doping system in place.
The findings of the McLaren Report, which said Russia operated an “institutional conspiracy” to win medals at major competitions such as the Olympic Games, have prompted several International Federations (IFs) to move events from the country.
The IBU said the Russian Biathlon Union had “given back” the hosting rights for a World Cup event in Tyumen and the World Junior Championships in Ostrov, while the International Speed Skating Union and the International Ski Federation have also removed events from Russia.