Sochi was stripped as the host of next year’s bobsleigh and skeleton world championships amid accusations of state-sponsored doping against Russia, bringing a furious response from Moscow at what it dubbed a baseless “political decision”.
The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) had come under pressure to move the event from the 2014 Winter Olympics host city after last week’s damning report by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren which implicated more than 1,000 Russian athletes in at least 30 sports in a state-sponsored doping programme.
“The IBSF executive committee felt that during this difficult time it is prudent not to organise such an event in Russia,” a statement by the sports governing body read, adding a new location would be decided in the coming days.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov reacted immediately, saying Russia “enormously regretted” the decision. “We’re convinced that this was a political decision. It’s based on statements without any evidence,” Peskov was quoted as saying by the R-Sport agency.