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MOSCOW, December 23. /TASS/. The International Skating Union (ISU) said Thursday it would consider relocating international skating events of season 2017/18 from Russia to other countries early next year.
Late on Thursday, the organization said it had decided to move the ISU World Cup Speed Skating planned to be held in Chelyabinsk, Russia, on March 10-12, 2017. The city of Kolomna near Moscow is scheduled to host the European Speed Skating Championships in January 2018.
"As to the ISU Events planned to be held in Russia during the subsequent season 2017/18, the ISU Council decided to closely monitor the developments and review the allotments again in early 2017," ISU said in a statement.
The skating event will be moved "to another country and location which remains to be confirmed shortly" because "the focus of the Event would not be on the sport but rather accusations and controversies" if it takes place in Russia amid the ongoing doping scandal.
"The ISU Council concluded that during this difficult time and extraordinary circumstances it is prudent not to organize such an ISU Event in Russia at this time and therefore changed its previous position in this respect," the statement reads.
The decision was made in line with the IOC statement of December 7, which reiterated its recommendation to all International Olympic Winter Sports Federations to freeze their preparations for major events in Russia, such as World Championships, World Cups or other major international competitions under their responsibility, and to actively look for alternative organizers.