Ger­many op­poses bob­sleigh world cham­pi­onships boy­cott

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Ger­many is against boy­cotting next year’s bob­sleigh and skeleton world cham­pi­onships in Sochi in protest against Rus­sian dop­ing but is ready to step in and host the event should it be moved.

Latvia pulled out of the Feb. 13-26 cham­pi­onships fol­low­ing the pub­li­ca­tion last week of the sec­ond part of the McLaren Re­port into Rus­sian dop­ing which re­vealed an in­sti­tu­tional con­spir­acy to con­ceal pos­i­tive drug tests. South Korea, host na­tion of the 2018 Win­ter Olympics, and skeleton ath­letes from the United States are also con­sid­er­ing with­draw­ing from the cham­pi­onships in protest at Rus­sian dop­ing. “We ba­si­cally re­ject a boy­cott be­cause the big­gest loser is al­ways sport it­self,” Ger­man bob­sleigh fed­er­a­tion (BSV) sports di­rec­tor Thomas Sch­wab told Reuters yes­ter­day.

“There would be noth­ing worse than hav­ing a world cham­pi­onship where big na­tions won’t be tak­ing part,” he added. “But we would be very un­happy if it took place there (Sochi). We have of­fered the In­ter­na­tional Bob­sleigh Skeleton Fed­er­a­tion (IBSF) to jump in and host the event. We would wel­come a move of the event to an­other lo­ca­tion.” The IBSF could switch the cham­pi­onships from Sochi, host city of the 2014 Win­ter Olympics, say­ing last week that it would “act promptly and de­ci­sively fol­low­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of the fi­nal McLaren Re­port” af­ter reading and digest­ing it. “The IBSF is hav­ing in­tense talks with Rus­sian or­gan­is­ers,” Sch­wab said.

“We are in con­tact with the IBSF, they have to check the le­gal as­pects and must also de­pend on a bit of un­der­stand­ing from the Rus­sians as some­one in the end will have to pay it,” he added.

“I ex­pect a de­ci­sion to be made by the end of the week.” McLaren’s re­port said anal­y­sis of sam­ples from four Rus­sians who won gold medals in Sochi had shown salt read­ings that were phys­i­o­log­i­cally im­pos­si­ble. There was also ev­i­dence of tam­per­ing with the sam­ples of 12 Rus­sian medal­lists at those Games. “We are shocked with what al­legedly hap­pened there at Sochi,” Sch­wab said. “We were the first fed­er­a­tion that de­manded that the anti-dop­ing should be man­aged by bod­ies out­side Rus­sia.”

Spain is also op­pos­ing the boy­cott. “We are await­ing the IBSF’s de­ci­sion,” Span­ish Ice Sports Fed­er­a­tion (FEDH) gen­eral sec­re­tary Xavier Cherta told Reuters. “Our in­ten­tion is for our two skeleton ath­letes, An­der Mi­ram­bell and Maria Mon­te­jano, to com­pete.” The IBSF de­clined to com­ment when con­tacted by Reuters, say­ing any in­for­ma­tion would be pub­lished on the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s own me­dia chan­nels. — Reuters

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