Aleksander Emelianenko released a statement Sunday saying that he is "engaged in the development of mixed martial arts in Russia" -- and has no political motivations, especially for any extremist group.
The statement, via his blog and the above video, was to shoot down a story last weekend on Russian channel NTV, which presented him as a Russian nationalist.
"I am a sportsman," Emelianenko said, chalking up the report as a ratings ploy. "I am not and will not be a supporter of any political extremist movements. I do not endorse their views and do not want to be a means to promote them."
Emelianenko said he works to provide opportunities to young athletes through his fight team and added his appreciation for the diverse group of athletes within his team. He also denied any connection with former teammate Roman Zentsov.
"I want to play sports, act for the country and (win) medals and titles," Emelianenko said. "I do not want to be involved in political games. I do not want to be a bargaining chip in such dispute. I have kids. I want them to grow up in a democratic country, devoid of national, religious and other prejudices."
Emelianenko has encountered accusations before because of his suggestive tattoos. For more on his ink, Fighters Only has a story detailing the meaning behind his tattoos.