Skeleton Latvia said on Monday it would be boycotting the
Feb. 13-26 event after the publication of the second half of the
McLaren Report into Russian doping, which alleged an
"institutional conspiracy to conceal positive drug tests".
The Korea Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (KBSF) said it had yet
to make a final decision, and would not do so until their
athletes were back in the country on Dec. 19, but were erring
toward not going.
"Our tentative decision is not to attend because as Russia was
hosting the championship there were several problems with
fairness regarding doping," KBSF Secretary General Sung
Youn-teak told Reuters on Tuesday.
"Also, other countries are saying that they won't attend.
Especially for skeleton, Latvia and some other countries are our
competitors but they have said they will not attend.
"So we think that there is no significant meaning for us to win
medals without our competitors present."
South Korea are hopeful of some medals on their home track at
Pyeongchang in 2018, especially after the bobsleigh pair of Won
Yun-jong and Seo Young-woo won the World Cup series earlier this
Although the Sochi championships help determine the rankings for
the 2018 Games, South Korea are assured of having three
bobsleigh and two skeleton entrants as hosts.
"Our goal is the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018 so we don't see
participating this time as crucial considering the
circumstances," Sung added.
Skeleton athletes from the United States are also considering
pulling out of the championships in protest at Russian doping.
The Swiss-based International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation
could yet move the championships from Sochi, host city of the
2014 Winter Olympics.
It said in a statement after that it would "act promptly and
decisively following the publication of the final McLaren
Report" but only after reading and digesting it.
In response, Skeleton Latvia released a statement announcing its
boycott on Monday.
"We say enough is enough," it read. "And while our international
federation is still going to: "read and digest the report", we
will do what WE can.
"We will be glad to race in world championships at any track of
the world, but WE ARE NOT PARTICIPATING in world championships
in Sochi, Russia - a place where Olympic spirit was stolen in
McLaren's report said analysis of samples from four Russians who
won gold in Sochi had shown salt readings that were
physiologically impossible, while there was evidence of
tampering with the samples of 12 Russian Sochi medalists.
(Writing by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by John O'Brien)
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