Germany: 'It's a political game' — Banned Russian skeleton athletes condemn IOC decision

Russian skeleton athletes Elena Nikitina and Alexander Tretyakov commented on their recent barring from the Olympics by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), when speaking from Germany's Winterberg, Wednesday. Tretyakov said he was «shocked» when he heard the news, arguing that «some kind of political game is going on.» In turn, Nikitina denied any allegations of collusion with the... Еще Russian government, saying that «our sport is purely technical, where most of the result depends on skates, on runners being set up properly, on a skeleton itself. Basically, we don't need it [doping].» Despite the ban, the skeleton athlete said that they continued to train because «the truth is on our side.» On November 22, the IOC issued a a lifetime ban on four Russian skeleton athletes, including Nikitina and Tretyakov, over the alleged doping at the Sochi Winter Olympics. The IOC disqualified the athletes from Sochi, thus effectively stripping them of medals. Russian skeleton athletes are not yet deprived of the right to compete in international competitions held under the auspices of the international federation. They are now in Winterberg, preparing for 2017-2018 Skeleton World Cup.

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