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Saturday 31, Dec 2016

  Germany Gains Right To Host Bobsleigh And Skeleton World Championships

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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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Thursday 11, Apr 2013

  Russia Is Making Anti-Doping Progress

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Russia Is Making Anti-Doping Progress

Russia, the host of World Athletics championships, has rejected claims that it is soft on doping and added the exposure of a spate of high-profile cheats was because of a step forward in testing.

Russia is keen to showcase its fight against doping as it prepares to host the World Athletics championships in August in Moscow and then the Winter Olympics in February next year in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

In recent months, a number of Russian athletes including 2004 Olympic hammer champion Olga Kuzenkova have been banned for doping rule violations that has prompted calls in some quarters for Moscow to be stripped of its right to host the championships later this year. However, the chief of the Russian athletics federation said the country had dramatically changed its approach in the fight against doping.

Balakhnichev said the national anti-doping agency RUSADA was created three years ago to keep the use of drugs in sports under control and it went to change the situation radically as the Russian sports ministry upgraded the technical equipment of Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory up to the highest modern standards and increased the level of its staff’s skills. He added the concept has already started paying off as the laboratory is not only testing but also regularly working out new methods of analysis that are currently used worldwide.

In March this year, British long jumper Jade Johnson said Moscow did not deserve to hold the championships because of its record of doping scandals. UK Athletics head coach Peter Eriksson has also called for an investigation. However, Balakhnichev refuted the claims and said the British should look after their own house and remarked the British coaches and athletes should better watch closely what’s going on closer to home and it is best for all to withdraw from issuing any labels.

The Russian athletics federation chief added a set of serious problems in world sport in general and Russian athletics in particular is exposed by the introduction of biological passports for athletes and went on to add that he believes the main reasons for doping are the high financial motivation of success in modern athletics and a severe lack of educational work with athletes. He also remarked that children’s and youth sports schools were in charge of educational work with young athletes, together with the country’s youth public organizations in Soviet times but we lost the moral standards that prevented the athletes from cheating after the fall of the Soviet Union.

The chief admitted that RUSADA dealt with doping only at elite sports level and ignore youth sports where banned substances were widespread and concluded that he believes we should keep the entire sports pyramid — from children’s sports up to the world class athletes — in our country under complete control to win the battle against doping. The chief also said the easy accessibility of banned drugs in Russia via the Internet was also to blame for the increasing number of doping cases in the country and argued that Russia should adopt laws that would allow the criminal prosecution of doping cheats.

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