Another 3 winter events moved out of Russia

Biathletes in the women's 12.5km mass start at the World Cup leg in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic last Sunday. Russia will not host the Tyumen meet as well as the youth/junior world championships.
Biathletes in the women's 12.5km mass start at the World Cup leg in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic last Sunday. Russia will not host the Tyumen meet as well as the youth/junior world championships.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MOSCOW • Russia has lost three more top-level winter sporting events it was due to host amid growing concern at the extent of the country's doping programme, highlighted in the McLaren report.

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) said on Thursday that Russia had pulled out of hosting a World Cup meet and the youth/junior world championships.

At the same time, the International Skating Union (ISU) said it had stripped Russia of a speed skating event scheduled for Chelyabinsk.

Both decisions were made amid mounting pressure to remove sporting events from Russia after the McLaren report laid bare the extent to which Russian sport was affected by an "institutional conspiracy" of doping.

This follows Sochi's loss last week of the right to host February's bobsleigh and skeleton world championships to Koenigssee in Germany.

The second part of the report, compiled by Canadian sports lawyer Richard McLaren, was published earlier this month and said more than 1,000 Russian athletes in more than 30 sports were involved.

Yesterday, the International Olympic Committee said that 28 Russian athletes who took part in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi face disciplinary proceedings over possible manipulation of their urine samples.

The IBU said in a statement that the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) had "given back to the IBU" the World Cup leg in Tyumen from March 7 to 12 and the youth/ junior world championships in Ostrov from Feb 22 to March 2.

"This is a first important step by the Russian Biathlon Union to show to the IBU and to the world of sport that the current situation is taken very seriously," IBU president Anders Besseberg said in a statement.

"This will now allow the international biathlon family to focus on biathlon during these events."

The ISU said its council had decided to move a World Cup speed skating meet that was due to be held from March 10 to 12, in order to ensure the focus was on the sport and not on "accusations and controversies".

The new venues for the three events have yet to be announced.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 24, 2016, with the headline 'Another 3 winter events moved out of Russia'. Print Edition | Subscribe