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Russia: Sochi will not host Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championships 2017

Dec 14, 2016 11:00 IST

Russia stripped of Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championships Sochi, the Russian city that hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics, will not host the 2017 Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championships.

The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) that stripped Sochi as the host of the world championship said, it would not be prudent to hold the championships in Russia, a country accused of state-sponsored doping.

The decision came on the basis of a report that claimed that more than 1000 Russians benefitted from a doping cover-up between 2011 and 2015. The report published by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren on 9 December 2016.

The McLaren report described how the sport was ‘hijacked’ by Russia to win at the London 2012 and Sochi 2014 Olympics and other global competitions. It said that mass doping helped it to win several medals in these events.
International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation announced that a new host city will be named for the February 2017 event in the forthcoming days.

Russia’s Reaction

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, the decision to strip Sochi of the championships was politicised and without grounds. The executive committee of the IBSF said it had made the decision because it wanted to focus on sport rather than accusations.

World Reaction

• The powerful Skeleton team of Latvia claimed that they would be boycotting the event in Russia, a country that had stolen the spirit of Olympics. The country finished second in the medals table at the world championships of 2016.

• US athletes had voiced concerns about competing in Russia.

• The boycott was also supported by British Olympic Committee.

Besides all these reactions, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that it will reanalyse all 254 urine samples that was collected from the Russian athletes at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Earlier, the track and field team of Russia has been banned from participating in the international competition for doping. The team was not allowed to participate in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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