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Bobsleigh/Skeleton: Sochi Stripped Of World Champs Over Russian Doping Scandal

Bobsleigh/Skeleton: Sochi stripped of world champs over Russian doping scandal

LAUSANNE, , (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 13th Dec, 2016 ) - Sochi was stripped Tuesday as the host of next year's bobsleigh and skeleton world championships amid accusations of state-sponsored doping against Russia.

The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) had come under pressure to move the event from the 2014 Winter Olympics host city after last week's damning report by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren which implicated more than 1,000 Russian athletes in a state-sponsored doping programme.

The IBSF said in a statement that because of the cloud hanging over the host country they had decided to move the event to another location to be decided in the coming days. The IBSF said: "The IBSF executive committee felt that during this difficult time it is prudent not to organise such an event in Russia.

This decision was made for two primary reasons: "First: to allow athletes and coaches from all nations to participate in a competition that focuses on sport rather than accusations and discussions - whether justified or not.

"Second: The Russian Bobsleigh Federation has put a great effort in the preparation of the World Championships, but the current climate would make it nearly impossible to appreciate the efforts of the organising committee to host a great event or the quality of the Sanki Sliding Center as one of the best tracks in the world.

"Having stated that, the IBSF asks all members and athletes for fair play and respect, which also includes the assumption of innocence for any athlete, regardless of national affiliation, until proven guilty." Latvia's powerful skeleton team had announced they would be boycotting the event in the Black Sea venue, saying on Sunday its giant neighbour had "stolen" the Olympic spirit.

Latvia finished second in the medals table in skeleton at the 2016 world championships.

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