GB Winter Olympian Hits Out At Russians
Written by RockSport on January 8, 2018
Russian athletes being allowed to compete internationally in bobsleigh and skeleton despite their Olympic ban is “a joke”, former Great Britain bobsleigher John Jackson says.
Dozens of Russian athletes were banned for life by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after an investigation into allegations of state-sponsored doping at Sochi 2014, and the country is banned from February’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
However, Russians are still competing at skeleton and bobsleigh events where Olympic qualification is at stake while the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) has been doing what Jackson describes as “arguing against itself” in court over the matter.
“A circus is a good clean way of putting it, an absolute joke,” said Jackson, who along with team-mates Bruce Tasker, Joel Fearon and Stuart Benson is in line for a bronze medal after the disqualification of two Russian teams from the 2014 Games.
“Morally I don’t think any of the Russians should be sliding because of the IOC ruling.
“Winter sports are not putting up a strong enough fight for clean athletes, they are letting politics away from the sport takeover, it is a complete mess.”
The IBSF had provisionally suspended the athletes, only for them to have their bans lifted by the federation’s own doping hearing panel on appeal.
Picture: Russia’s Elena Nikitina has been banned for life for breaching anti-doping rules at Sochi 2014, but won the Skeleton World Cup in Innsbruck last month and is fourth in the rankings