The President of the Russian Cross-Country Skiing Association has resisted a collective suspicion of doping against her athletes before the start of the Nordic World Ski Championships. "If you have some respect for the athletes, you should end this topic, because young athletes are doing well here, so let's focus on the World Cup," said 14-time World Champion, Jelena Wälbe, at a press conference the day before the World Cup. Start in Seefeld in Tyrol. The schedule for the competition can be found here.
In addition to Wälbe was, inter alia, the two-time world champion Sergei Ustyugov. The 26-year-old had been excluded from the Winter Olympics in 2018 because of the Russian doping scandal, although he had never been proven doping. "It's still a secret why I was not invited, I still have no answers, I do not know the reasons," Ustyugov said.
Also Wälbe stated that he did not know the reason for the Olympic exclusion. The past 50 years described the 50-year-old as extremely stressful. "It was like a war for me, and I was on the front line," said Wälbe.
Ustyugov had been removed from the list of candidates for a neutral flag launch because he was implicated in the scandal over Russian state doping. The former Tour de Ski winner Alexander Legkow ended his career now unnerved, although he had never been convicted of doping as Maxim Wylegschanin or Alexander Bessmertnich.