Russia To Retain Hosting Speed Skating Championship Privileges
Russia will remain the host of next month’s European Speed Skating Championships, which will run from January 5th to January 7th. Russia was ruled to be guilty of the systematic manipulation of the anti-doping system of various events that the country had hosted. The ruling was made by the International Olympic Committee and is generally viewed in a very serious light.
The governing body for major skating events, the International Skating Union (ISU) has however convened about the matter and the ruling by the IOC and has decreed that all drug tests carried out at the European Speed Skating Championships are to be carried out by international independent authorities, and not by Russian authorities or anyone connected to Russian authorities.
The ISU further ruled that the drug testing samples will be evaluated by laboratories outside of Russia, leaving no room for interference with the samples at a later stage.
Not Without Consequences
Russia’s overstepping the rules has not been free of consequence or punishment. The International Olympic Committee has ruled that the country would be competing as neutrals in next year’s Winter Olympics. Only those athletes that have passed stringent tests and checks will be allowed to appear under the Russian flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee has also issued a statement saying that the finer details of what the conditions are under which Russian athletes will be permitted to compete in the Winter Olympics would be decided on and published in due course. It was made abundantly clear that Russia would certainly not be given carte blanche to do as it pleased.
The assumption is that the same stringent rules will be applied at the upcoming European Speed Skating Championships, as this too, is a major skating event hosted by Russia and an important one on the annual speed skating calendar. Russia would do well to fall in line with whatever is decided by the International Skating Union, as they were very nearly stripped of the honour and opportunity of hosting the European Speed Skating Championships at all. The ISU and IOC have both been very lenient regarding Russia’s hosting privileges as well as participation privileges at international skating events.
European Speed Skating Championships
The European Speed Skating Championships are a series of skating events performed on a long track. The purpose of the competition is to identify and honour the best speed skating all-rounder on the European continent.
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