Russian doctors say no poison detected in jailed Kremlin critic

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Doctors at a Russian state facility on Wednesday said they had found no traces of poison in jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, but his physician dismissed the results as “completely absurd.”

Navalny was hospitalized at the weekend with suspicious symptoms.

But Alexei Tokarev, head of the state Sklifosovsky Institute for Emergency Care, said their toxicology lab ran Navalny’s samples and “poisoning substances were not found,” according to Russian news agencies.

However, Navalny’s personal physician Anastasia Vasilyeva dismissed the results as “completely absurd,” saying the politician’s hair, bedsheets and clothes should have also been tested.

Following Sunday’s incident, Vasilyeva had said that Navalny’s condition suggested poisoning by an unknown chemical substance after the 43-year-old was rushed to a hospital from jail, where he is being held over an unauthorized protest.

“We don’t know whether this chemical substance was present in sufficient quantities in his blood and urine to be detected and how long its lifespan is in the human organism,” she wrote on her Facebook page late Wednesday.

Navalny was sent back to his jail cell Monday despite the protests of his doctor, who said he could be at risk of coming into contact with poison again there.

The politician – one of President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critics – said the official explanation of his symptoms as an “allergy” did not make sense as he had never suffered from any allergies.