Legkov returned to the Tour de Ski
If the youth world championship in hockey and passion on football fields in England and Italy is put aside, the main event of the New Year holidays for Russian sports was the performance of skiers at the multi-day Tour de Ski race. For the first time, three athletes managed to become winners of the competitions in the overall standings. Alexander Bolshunov won among men, Sergey Ustyugov became the second after him, and Natalia Nepryaeva won silver among girls for the second time in a row.
But the news from the world of skiing was not limited to this. Before the participants of the elite stage race began to storm Mount Alpe Cermiz, there were races along the same route for amateurs.
In the men's race, Olympic champion Alexander Legkov won, who had previously won the Tour de Ski in 2013. Moreover, he overcame the route faster than the winner of the final stage among the current skiers - the Norwegian Simen Hegstad Krueger for 15 seconds.
Two days after the final stage, another joyful event took place. One of the leaders of the women's national team of Russia Yulia Belorukova gave birth to a son, he was named Arseny. A report from the Russian Ski Federation says that the twice bronze medalist of the Olympic Games and her child are doing well.
Bronze of young hockey players
While in Russia they were worried about male youth at the World Cup in the Czech Republic, girls from the national team under 18 years old also managed to excel. The women's junior team of Russia became the bronze medalist of the world championship in Slovakia, having achieved such a success for the third time.
The girls showed their character in the first match with Canada, when they scored two goals in the last ten minutes of the match and were able to transfer the game to overtime. For women's hockey, taking points from North Americans is already a solid achievement.
In the future, the Russians looked dignified, got to the match for third place and defeated Finland in it with a score of 6: 1. Forward of the tournament was recognized striker Kristi Shashkina, who also became the top scorer, and journalists and organizers called goalkeeper Anna Alpatova the best in her role.
The dispute over the chess crown
The match for the title of world champion in women's chess started in Shanghai. This time the crown is played by Chinese woman Ju Wenjun, who won the last world championship in the playoff system, and the winner of the tournament of applicants Alexandra Goryachkina from Russia.
The match meeting consists of 12 games, the first half of which will be held in China, and the second in Vladivostok. If according to their results the winner is not determined, then a tie-break will take place from the parties in rapid, blitz and “Armageddon”. After the fourth game, there was a turning point - Ju Wenjun won with white pieces and so far has won one point against Goryachkina.
Hayo Zeppelt took on the exposure of weightlifting. On New Year's holidays, he released the film “The Secret Case of Doping: The Lord of the Rod” about corruption and taking illegal drugs in this Olympic sport, in which the number of proven positive samples already exceeds all imaginable limits.
Zeppelt accused the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) of the fact that for many years she and her president Tamash Ayan covered athletes using illegal drugs, and large amounts of money were transferred from the International Olympic Committee of the organization that do not appear in any reports. In his film, Seppelt used the recognition of the doctor of the Moldavian national team and the bronze medalist of the 2012 Olympics, Rattikan Gulnoi from Thailand, who talked about his experience with doping on camera.
The reaction to sensational revelations was not as violent as it usually happens when it comes to Russian sports. The IWF rejected all the allegations, the IOC was asked to show documents for an internal investigation, and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced the start of an audit based on the facts set forth in the Zeppelt film.
Ski disqualifications and the disappearance of Lecavalier
The doping scandal that struck last year at the World Championships in skiing, came to real punishment. Kazakhstani Alexei Poltoranin, who won twice the bronze at the world championships, and Estonians Andreas Veerpalu and Karel Tammjärv received four years of disqualification for violating anti-doping rules, namely for blood doping and complicity. Also, the case of the two-time Olympic champion Andrus Veerpalu and Argo Karp remains under consideration by the International Ski Federation, they are also suspended.
Problems with doping were not spared and figure skating. Fans have long drawn attention to the fact that the Frenchwoman Lorin Lekavelya has not played at any competitions since September and did not get into the national team for the European Championship.
According to media reports, the Lecavalier doping test tested positive for cocaine. There are no details yet, but it is known for sure that the skater faces up to four years of disqualification if it is proved that she used the drug right before the competition.
Russian athletes have a chance to compete under their own flag at the Tokyo Olympics. The IOC will not consider the possibility of removing the Russian team until the decision of the WADA Executive Committee of December 9 last year to impose sanctions comes into force. And this will happen now only after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) considers the appeal of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency.
“We will wait for the CAS verdict before addressing this issue,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams told Reuters.
So far, WADA has not filed appeal documents with CAS. When this is done, the parties will engage in the appointment of arbitrators, and then it will take several months to consider the merits. By the time the point is set for Russian athletes, the Tokyo Olympics may well be in full swing.