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IBSF World Championship Relocated To Konigsee

The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation has announced in a statement that the 2017 IBSF World Championship will be held in Germany’s Konigsee.

In the statement, the world governing body of bobsleigh and skeleton said the IBSF had to select the location for the new host following the recent decision by the IBSF Executive Committee to move the IBSF Bobsleigh & Skeleton World Championships 2017 and Konigsee has been selected.

The IBSF made its decision to relocate the 2017 World Championship from the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi after many countries announced their intention to boycott the event in Russia after the second part of a report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren was released. Germany, Austria, and South Korea joined Latvia and athletes in Britain and United States in their calls to move the 2017 event to be moved from Sochi in response to evidence of state-sponsored Russian doping.

Latvia, home of the world champion and Olympic silver medalist Martins Dukurs, had withdrawn from skeleton events. Britain's reigning Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold and American athletes also called for a similar move from their countries. South Korea, the host of the next Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in 2018, had also threatened a boycott before the event was moved from Sochi.

Korea Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation secretary general Sung Youn-teak had remarked our tentative decision is not to attend because as Russia was hosting the Championship there were several problems with fairness regarding doping. Sung added Latvia and some other countries especially for skeleton are our competitors but they have said they will not attend and added so we think that there is no significant meaning for us to win medals without our competitors present. The Korea Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation secretary general added our goal is the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018 so we don't see participating this time as crucial considering the circumstances.

The IBSF Executive Committee had felt it was prudent not to organize such an event in Russia and it remarked this decision was made to allow athletes and coaches from all nations to participate in a competition that focuses on sport rather than accusations and discussions, whether justified or not.

The Russian Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation "accepted" the decision. It said we are compelled to accept the IBSF decision to move the championships from Russia to a different country and added the IBSF given the situation as it is found itself in the face of a possible split in the sport and a mass boycott of the competitions. The Russian Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation added circumstances like these ones rule out good decisions and therefore our counterparts had to choose the smaller of the two evils. It also added that we realize that it is still possible somehow to hold competitions in a dignified manner in the current circumstances, which we did not perpetrate in any way, but it is impossible to organize a real feast of sports, and a World Championship should really be one. It went on to comment that we are prepared to make this sacrifice for the sake of maintaining cooperation and unity in our sport.

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Albert Wolfgang
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