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Bobsled, Skeleton Federation Moves World Championships From Russia

  • RFE/RL

Russian athlete Yelena Nikitina taking part in the women’s skeleton at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

Russian athlete Yelena Nikitina taking part in the women’s skeleton at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

The world governing body for bobsled and skeleton bobsled says it will move the upcoming world championships out of Russia amid growing concerns about Russian doping.

The December 13 announcement came just days after the publication of another critical report by investigators that details the involvement of more Russian athletes and sports officials in a wide-reaching doping scandal.

The international federation said it had not yet decided where the world championships would be held.

The federation made no specific mention of the growing evidence of state-sponsored doping in Russia.

But it said moving the world champions from Sochi was the only way "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."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by Russian agencies as saying the decision was politicized and groundless.

Some of the sports' best athletes had threatened to boycott the February championships.

Latvia's national skeleton team announced on December 11 that it would also boycott if the contest went forward in Sochi.

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