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Russian Bobsleigh Federation accepts IBSF move to relocate championship

December 14, 2016, 0:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The championships were to be held in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi from February 13 through to February 26, 2017

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Bobsleigh center in Sochi

Bobsleigh center in Sochi

© AP Photo/Sergei Grits

MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. Russian Bobsleigh Federation accepts a decision of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation to move the 2017 world championships to a different place, a press release said on Tuesday.

The championships were to be held in Sochi from February 13 through to February 26, 2017.

"We’re compelled to accept the IBSF decision to move the championships from Russia to a different country," the press release said. "Given the situation as it is, the IBSF found itself in the face of a possible split in the sport and a mass boycott of the competitions."

"Circumstances like these ones rule out good decisions and therefore our counterparts had to choose the smaller of the two evils," the federation said.

"We realize that it is still possible somehow to hold competitions in a dignified manner in the current circumstances, which we did not perpetrate in any way, but it is impossible to organize a real feast of sports, and a world championship should really be one," it said.

"We are prepared to make this sacrifice for the sake of maintaining cooperation and unity in our sport," the federation said. "We hope for understanding on the part of our counterparts and competitors."

Earlier on Tuesday, the IBSF said it had taken a decision to move the championships from Sochi to a different venue.

"The IBSF decided to move the IBSF World Championships 2017 from Sochi, Russia to another location which will be determined in the coming days," it said in a press release.

"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.

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