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Kremlin: Decision to relocate bobsleigh and skeleton championships from Sochi politicized

December 13, 2016, 21:56 UTC+3

Officials decided to move the 2017 world championships in bobsleigh and skeleton to another location

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© Al Bello/Getty Images

MOSCOW, December 13. /TASS/. The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) took a politicized and ungrounded decision to move the 2017 bobsleigh and skeleton world championships from Sochi to a different place, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RT channel.

International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) has taken a decision to move the 2017 world championships in bobsleigh and skeleton to another location, the press service of the federation said.

"The IBSF Executive Committee felt that during this difficult time it is prudent not to organize such an event in Russia," it said.

"This decision was made for two primary reasons," the press release said: " First: 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."

"Second: The Russian Bobsleigh Federation has put a great effort in the preparation of the World Championships, but the current climate would make it nearly impossible to appreciate the efforts of the Organizing Committee to host a great event or the quality of the Sanki Sliding Center as one of the best tracks in the World," the statement said.

"Having stated that, the IBSF asks all Members and athletes for Fair Play and Respect, which also includes the assumption of innocence for any athlete, regardless of national affiliation, until proven guilty," the IBSF said.

Compensation for relocation of championships

Russian Bobsleigh Federation should demand compensation for the relocation of the 2017 bob and skeleton world championships from Sochi to another place, Dmitry Svishchev, a member of the State Duma committee for fitness, sports, tourism, and youth policies told TASS on Tuesday.

Svishchev said it was senseless to argue with the decision or to raise any debates around it, "because this international federation hands out the rights to organizing the championships."

"What’s important now is to demand compensations for the damage, as the organizing committee invested monies, time and efforts and all of this should be paid off," he said. 

"Still the fact as such is highly detrimental, as it may send a bad signal for other federation, which may feel inclined to follow it," Svishchev said.

"The (Russian bobsleigh) federation shouldn’t abandon its positions and should defend them in the courtrooms and through personal contacts," he said, admitting that the IBSF decision might be viewed as a bad token for Russian sports.

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