SOCHI (Lighthouse Press) _ NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire was detained in the Winter Olympics host city of Sochi in connection to what Russian police described as "possible intelligence gathering activities for the purposes of espionage."
McGuire was taken into custody Sunday, shortly after the men's hockey gold medal game between Canada and Sweden, and was held overnight at a police station in the Adler district of Sochi before being released. McGuire said he was questioned without lawyers present and strongly intimated that police had used violence and intimidation tactics during the ordeal, calling his interrogators, "monsters."
"Eddie (Olczyk) talked about this all tournament long - the big body presence of the Russian police all around Sochi," McGuire said. "You look at the determination of the guards along the boards. They've got active night sticks and keep all the shots coming from the outside.
"They go straight-up man on man. And they keep coming hard after you, shift after shift after shift."
Sochi police, who had told Lighthouse Press that McGuire was being questioned in relation to the espionage claims, said they had him under surveillance for consecutive days.
"The suspect was observed gathering invasive personal data from people around the Olympic Village since his arrival on February 10," said police chief Ivan Nikolevich Brekhov. "Over the course of two weeks, Mr. McGuire was recorded asking over 700 people about their places of birth, the schools they attended, the occupations of their mothers and fathers, their favorite athletes growing up, the coaches they had, their thigh measurements and other very, very personal pieces of information.
"What Mr. McGuire planned to do with this intelligence, we did not know and chose to ask him about in private."
A member of NBC Sports broadcast team since 2006, McGuire worked this year's men's and women's Olympic hockey tournaments, bringing his bottomless wealth of hockey knowledge to viewers often twice a day.
McGuire was among several people detained during the Sochi Olympics, including gay rights protesters and members of the government-opposing band Pussy Riot.
Despite the rough treatment, McGuire says he holds no bitter feelings towards the police officers who arrested him.
"You know what makes them special is that they're not just great police, but they're also great people," he said. "Cristofil Filipp (Filya) Savelievich and Kryztoffer Grigoriy (Grisha) Alesnarovich are spectacular competitors. I told them to not lose their smiles and just keep having fun out there."
A spokesperson for NBC Sports said that the arrest caused McGuire to miss his flight back to New York, but that he might hitch a ride to the airport in the trunk of a car alongside bound and gagged Russian hockey coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov.
This is fake. Pierre was not arrested or beaten by Russian police. Sorry to get anyone's hopes up.