Skeleton World Cup: Russia’s Elena Nikitina wins in Innsbruck


Поврзана слика

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Russian, Elena Nikitina, claims gold on Skeleton

Russia’s Elena Nikitina, who has been banned from the Olympics, has won the Skeleton World Cup in Innsbruck.

Britain’s Laura Deas was sixth, with Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold in 16th.

On 22 November, Nikitina was stripped of her Olympic bronze medal and banned from future Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), for breaching anti-doping rules at Sochi 2014.

The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation allowed Nikitina to compete after lifting its initial ban.

Nikitina’s victory also saw her win the European Championship with 29-year-old Deas coming fourth, missing out on a European medal by 0.01 seconds.

Germany’s Jacqueline Lolling leads the World Cup rankings after five events, with Deas in fifth and Yarnold in 12th place.

Nikitina, who also won at Park City, USA, in November, is in sixth place.

She was one of dozens of Russians banned for life since the IOC began investigating claims of doping at Sochi 2014, but is appealing the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The IOC has banned Russia from competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Russian athletes who can prove they are clean will be allowed to compete in South Korea under a neutral flag.

But athletes must not have been disqualified or declared ineligible for any violation of anti-doping rules.

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