A Moldovan television company has apologised after claims it had written inaccurate information surrounding allegations that the President of the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Moldova (NOSC) had breached the country’s integrity rules.
According to a report by Pro TV Chișinău, double Olympic gold medallist Nicolae Juravschi was accused by Moldova’s National Integrity Authority (ANI) of being a member of the country’s Parliament whilst holding a public function in an institution and illegally obtaining more than MDL60,000 (£2,700/$3,500/€3,000).
The article published in November last year also claimed the three-time Olympic medallist in canoeing risked losing the right to hold a public function for three years and had threatened to sue the ANI.
But Pro TV Chișinău has now published a correction on its website.
"The article wrote that the ANI inspectors accused Nicolae Juravschi that while he was a Parliamentarian he held a position in an institution and illegally obtained over [MDL60,000]," the statement read.
"The information provided in the headlines regarding the amount, period and illegal nature of the financial means proved to be in contradiction with the real situation and the factual circumstances, fact for which the editorial office expresses its regret."
The NOSC told insidethegames last November that Juravschi had appealed against ANI's findings in the Administrative Contentious Court on the grounds of them being "unfounded" and "illegal".
"The Act has been issued through erroneous interpretation of the law and with serious procedural infringements," said Cristina Vasilianov, secretary general of the NOSC.
"Moreover, this act can be qualified as tendentious, taking into consideration that tens of other Parliamentarians and dignitary persons hold simultaneously the office in various non-governmental organisations."
As well as printing a correction, Pro TV Chișinău also quoted a statement from Juravschi’s lawyer who looked to clarify the situation.
"Although the National Integrity Authority found that former deputy Nicolae Juravschi did not receive a salary for the position of President within the National Olympic and Sports Committee of the Republic of Moldova during the term of office of the deputy, the authority decided that there was a violation of the legal regime of incompatibilities," the lawyer said.
"A statement issued by ANI states the former parliamentarian came into view after he continued to hold the position of President within the National Olympic and Sports Committee of the Republic of Moldova.
"Although, he was not remunerated for his position within NOSC during his tenure as deputy, however, he exercised his powers as leader.
"These actions were confirmed by the 19 documents he signed during 2011-2018, thus ensuring the functionality of the institution.
"According to the act, ANI held that the former deputy Nicolae Juravschi violated the legal regime of incompatibilities, manifested by the failure to resolve in time the situation of incompatibility generated by the simultaneous exercise of the mandate of deputy in the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova and the position of President within the National Olympic and Sports Committee of the Republic of Moldova.
"Requested by protv.md, Nicolae Juravschi denied the ANI accusations, communicating that he challenged the unfavourable individual administrative act in the administrative contentious court.
"By virtue of contest the unfavourable individual administrative act in court, pursuant to article 36 paragraph two of the law on the National Integrity Authority - number 132 of 17.06.2016 - the ANI finding act is not final."
Juravschi won two gold medals at Seoul 1988 in the C-2 500 and 1,000 metres and a silver at Atlanta 1996 in the C-2 500m.
The 56-year-old has been NOSC President since 2000 after being re-elected on several occasions.
He also served as an Member of Parliament for eight years after being elected as a member of the Liberal Democrat Party in November 2011.
During that time, Juravschi defected three times with each party in power when he joined.
In 2019, a group of athletes and coaches accused NOSC and Juravschi of corruption, including an alleged €1 million (£900,000/$1.1 million) fraud connected to the sale of land for its headquarters.
Speaking at the time, Juravschi vehemently denied the accusations that the sale was illegal, describing the claims as "nonsense".
The NOSC claimed the letter was sent anonymously and that the Association of Athletes and Coaches of Moldova has no public standing.
It called the accusations "unjustified attacks".