Sochi loses right to host bobsleigh & skeleton World Championships

Sochi Winter Olympics

The Russian city of Sochi will not host the 2017 bobsleigh and skeleton World Championships.

The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) said it would not be “prudent” to hold the championships in Russia, a country accused of state-sponsored doping.

A report on 9 December claimed more than 1,000 Russians benefited from a doping cover-up between 2011 and 2015.

A new host city will be named for the February event in the forthcoming days.

According to Russia’s RIA news agency, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the decision to strip Sochi of the championships was “politicised and without grounds”.

The executive committee of the IBSF said it had made the decision because it wanted to focus on sport rather than accusations.

It is understood a number of German venues have offered to host the event, along with the Swiss town of St Moritz.

Decision follows boycott threats

On Monday, Latvia became the first nation to say they would boycott the World Championships, citing that “the Olympic spirit was stolen in 2014”.

High-profile American bobsledder Lolo Jones had also urged the IBSF to move its flagship event, saying she wanted to compete in a competition that was “drug free and safe”, adding Sochi was “not an option”.

In November, British Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold had said she may boycott the championships because of concerns over doping.

Following Tuesday’s decision, Yarnold tweeted: