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Former KGB agent wins biathlon gold medal for Belarus at Winter Olympics | Sport

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At her many appearances in various biathlon events at the Winter Olympics, spectators may have wondered how Darya Domracheva became such a crack shot. Her years spent in the KGB could be the answer.

Domracheva of Belarus won a gold medal on Thursday in the women’s 4x6km relay, her second of the Games after a silver in the women’s 12.5km mass start. She has won six medals in total, including four golds, in the biathalon, which is a mix of cross-country skiing and riflery. She is married to Norwegian Olympian Ole Einar Bjørndalen, the most successful biathlete of all time.

“You keep dreaming all race. We were very excited at the front of the race, and of course the [feeling] today is just happiness,” she told reporters after the race. “You can see how we are Olympic champions and I could say that the whole team were really, really strong.”

But her notoriety stems from her biography and her time spent at the KGB, which she left in June 2014. Belarus is the only former Soviet republic to retain the name for the country’s security agency. The initials are the Russian initials for the organisation, which translates as the committee for state security in English.

Most other post-Soviet countries changed the name, which has become synonymous with shadowy Communist secret police and political repression.

“Domracheva had worked for the KGB until June 2014, but at the moment Darya is not an employee of the committee,” KGB spokesperson Dmitry Pabyarzhin told Inside The Games in 2016, when her past employment was first revealed.

Belarus is often described as Europe’s last dictatorship and president Alexander Lukashenko has been in power since the 1994. He was the only member of the Soviet-era parliament to vote against breaking away from Moscow.

Lukashenko has been sanctioned by the European Union, along with other Belarusian officials.

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