UPDATE: This is getting stranger by the hour. According to the AP,
“the director of the Austrian hospital said the cause of the illness that left Yushchenko’s face pockmarked is still not known, rejecting a report that doctors had come to a conclusion that the presidential candidate was poisoned.
Zimpfer rejected as “entirely untrue” a story in Wednesday editions of the London daily, The Times, which quoted Dr. Nikolai Korpan — the Rudolfinerhaus physician who oversaw Yushchenko’s treatment — as saying that the candidate had been poisoned and the intention was to kill the candidate. Korpan also was quoted as denying making the remarks. “The suspicion of poisoning has until now neither been confirmed or excluded,” Korpan said, according to the Austria Press Agency. He could not be reached for further comment.
Medical experts have confirmed that Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine’s opposition leader, was poisoned in an attempt on his life during election campaigning, the doctor who supervised his treatment at an Austrian clinic said yesterday.
Doctors at Vienna’s exclusive Rudolfinerhaus clinic are within days of identifying the substance that left Mr Yushchenko?s face disfigured with cysts and lesions, Nikolai Korpan told The Times in a telephone interview.
Rudolfinerhaus doctors had previously said that they did not have medical evidence to back up or rule out deliberate poisoning.
John Henry, a prominent British toxicologist, has suggested that Mr Yushchenko?s symptoms were consistent with dioxin poisoning, which causes a severe form of acne called chloracne. Doctors at Rudolfinerhaus did not initially test Mr Yushchenko for dioxin, in part because his skin changes were not as severe as they are now. He also refused a biopsy of his face because he did not want to campaign with stitches. Other doctors have suggested that Mr Yushchenko may have been struck down by a rare illness.
“…because he did not want to campaign with stitches.” Stitches? His face is practically deformed and he’s worried about biopsy stitches? Sounds a little strange to me…