The world governing body of bobsleigh and skeleton has announced Germany’s Konigsee has been selected as the last-minute replacement for Sochi.

Konigsee has hosted the World Championships on four previous occasions, most recently in 2011.

In a statement on its website, the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) remarked the track was available during the period of two weeks for which the championships had already been scheduled. It added local officials had the required operational and logistical expertise to successfully organize the event at such short notice. The IBSF further added that holding the events at Konigsee would minimize the travel and financial impact on the teams.

The IBSF decided to withdraw the 2017 World Championships from Sochi after evidence of systematic, state-sponsored doping emerged in a second World Anti-Doping Agency-commissioned report by Canadian sports lawyer Richard McLaren. Announcing the decision to strip Sochi, the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation said it was prudent not to organize such an event in Russia.

Latvia was the first country to boycott the World Championships in Sochi. The IBSF was urged by high-profile American bobsledder Lolo Jones to move its flagship event. Lolo had remarked she wanted to compete in a competition that was “drug free and safe.”

Kyle Tress, an American skeleton racer, had previously remarked memos calling for a boycott of the bobsled and skeleton championships in Sochi have been circulated. Kyle said there is tremendous support to skip this event, and he thinks it is the right decision. Skeleton racer Katie Uhlaender had commented it doesn’t make us feel secure, or that they’re taking the situation seriously given the fact that nothing has been done about the Sochi scandal and the fact that we are still going to race there.

Previously, British Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold had remarked she may boycott the Sochi Games because of concerns over doping. Yarnold applauded IBSF’s decision and remarked she is glad our voices are being heard and our sport is joining the fight against doping in sport.

In a statement, the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association said we believe the decision is in the best interests of clean sport and we are pleased that the IBSF have acted quickly following the publication of the second McLaren report on Friday. Britain’s bobsleigh performance director Gary Anderson said the IBSF decision was a “great relief” for winter sport athletes around the world. Anderson added the IBSF was under huge pressure, but we are pleased they acted swiftly.

Russia’s sports ministry has vehemently denied allegations of state-sponsored doping. The Russian Bobsleigh Federation (RBF) said it will support the IBSF to clarify the matter related to the allegations but added we disagree with this decision and we will be protecting our rights.

Russia’s Elena Nikitina, Olga Potylitsina, Maria Orlova, and Aleksandr Tretyakov are presumed by media to be provisionally suspended by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) opened investigations into alleged anti-doping rule violations from the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

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