Rus­sia’s Ship­ulin quits biathlon amid dop­ing probe

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - SPORT -

Rus­sian biathlon star An­ton Ship­ulin an­nounced this week he had lost “mo­ti­va­tion” and would re­tire from the sport, weeks af­ter Aus­trian pros­e­cu­tors an­nounced a dop­ing probe into his team. Ship­ulin has al­ways re­jected claims against him but he and other top sports stars were barred from the Win­ter Olympics this year as part of a ban on Rus­sia for state-spon­sored dop­ing. “This race will be the last of my ca­reer,” the 31-year-old said of a com­pe­ti­tion in Ger­many’s Gelsenkirchen on Dec.29, ac­cord­ing to Rus­sian news agen­cies. “There’s no sense in car­ry­ing on tor­tur­ing my­self, my fans and my loved ones. I can’t find in my­self the mo­ti­va­tion that I need,” he told a press con­fer­ence in Mos­cow. “On top of that there’s the sit­u­a­tion with my health, which is un­re­lent­ing. Three times in the last month I’ve suf­fered from vi­ral in­fec­tions. I am not try­ing to run from prob­lems. I have al­ways said I was clean,” he said, but added that he was no longer find­ing plea­sure in the sport. Aus­trian of­fi­cials an­nounced on Dec.13 they were in­ves­ti­gat­ing mem­bers of Rus­sia’s biathlon team over al­leged dop­ing of­fences at the 2017 World Cham­pi­onships in the Aus­trian town of Hochfilzen. Ship­ulin, a gold medal­list in the sport at the tainted Sochi Games, was among those be­ing probed but dis­missed the al­le­ga­tions as “ground­less non­sense.”

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