On December 10, the Latvian Skeleton Federation announced that its team will boycott the world championships in Sochi in February 2017, doing so in response to the growing scandal that surrounds doping in Russia. It means that the number one skeleton rider at this time, Martins Dukurs, will skip the biggest competition of the season. Dukurs has been the overall World Cup champion seven times and has won silver medals at the last two Olympics. Latvia has won seven Winter Olympic medals over the course of history, all of them in the sliding sports. At the games in Sochi in 2014, Dukurs was a favourite to win the gold medal, but he was beaten by Aleksandr Tretyakov from Russia, whose name also appeared on a doping list that was leaked from Russia.
On December 13, the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) decided not to hold the championships in Russia, a country accused of state-sponsored doping. A new host city will be named for the February event in the forthcoming days. For more information click here.
Here is a statement from the Latvian Skeleton Federation: “Enough time has passed since first public WADA and IOC announcements regarding dirty athletes in our sport. As members of skeleton sport community we feel that more can still be done to make it right. Now, according to latest reports, we say- enough is enough.
And while our international federation is still going to: "read and digest the report", we will do what WE can- we will be glad to race in World Championships at any track of the world, but
WE ARE NOT PARTICIPATING in World Championships in Sochi, Russia- a place where Olympic spirit was stolen in 2014.”