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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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Friday 07, Oct 2016

  IOC Must Redeem Itself After Rio Failure, Says iNADO

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The 59-member global Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations (iNADO) said in a strongly-worded statement that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) “lost the anti-doping battle” before August’s Olympics began.

The iNADO remarked the IOC can redeem itself in time for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games. The International Olympic Committee resisted calls for a blanket ban on Russians competing in the Rio Games because of the doping record of the country. The IOC however decided to leave decision on participation of individual athletes with their sports federations. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC), on the other hand, issued a blanket ban on Russian athletes.

In a statement, iNADO said the International Olympic Committee had ignored its “own calls for harmony and independence” as well as recommendation of the World Anti-Doping Agency of a complete ban on Russians from the Olympics. A three-person IOC panel ratified the individual governing bodies’ decisions on who was eligible and more than 270 Russians were cleared to compete at the Rio Olympics. The iNADO went on to compare Russians competing in Rio to the disqualification of Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson for doping at Seoul in 1988 after breaking the 100m world record in the final. It remarked this year’s Games will be remembered for the participation of athletes served by a Russian system that corrupted clean sport just as the 1988 Seoul Olympics are remembered for Ben Johnson’s infamy. The iNADO added in the statement that the IOC, equally disappointing in the eyes of many, chose to associate itself with such a system by failing to reject it categorically.

Joseph de Pencier, chief executive of the global Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations, said the IOC must ensure that the reception of Russian athletes in Pyeongchang is very different than the one in Rio.

The 59-member global Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations said the IOC could redeem itself before the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The group said a starting point will be to recognize the findings of the McLaren report, the WADA-commissioned investigation which revealed the state-sponsored doping, were well-documented and reliable. It also said the IOC members should cease attacks on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that commissioned the report.

The global Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations said the task of convincing Russia, its athletes and the country’s sporting leaders of the cultural change needed was “enormous”. It further added anti-doping is not “political” and said it is at the heart of true sport and further commented let the IOC help us hear Russian voices acknowledge that and see Russian decision-makers act on it.

The iNADO added whistleblowers should be encouraged and added the independence of WADA should be strengthened, with the agency given the investigative capacity it requires. It was also suggested by iNADO that Olympic sponsors and broadcasters should “contribute meaningfully” to anti-doping, if only to protect their own substantial investments. It was also suggested that governance in sporting organizations needed to be improved to restore confidence, with public oversight of operations and spending.

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