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Ustiugov Protests Suspension of Russian Cross-Country Skiers Following Lahti 50km Silver

by Ben Andrew

March 07, 2017 (Lahti, Finland) – At the FIS World Cup Finals in Lahti on March 5, Russian Sergei Ustiugov finished a strong second behind Canadian Alex Harvey in the men’s 50K Freestyle final event of the Nordic World Championships. However, during the press conference following the podium ceremonies, Ustiugov refused to wear his medal, his fifth medal at the Worlds reports Sweden’s Expressen.

Men's 50K F final podium (l-r) Sergey Ustiugov, Alex Harvey, Matti Heikkinen [P] Nordic Focus
Ustiugov explained that he was protesting against the suspension of his national team colleagues Alexander Legkov, Alexei Petukhov, Maxim Vylegzhanin and Eveniy Belov who were not able to take part in the World Cup Finals. The four were suspended following the release of the McLaren report for alleged doping infractions during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Sergey Ustiugov (l) and Alex Harvey [P] Nordic Focus
Ustiugov, who expressed his strong opposition to the suspensions, stated that his medals were not for him, but for his suspended teammates. Speaking with the help of an English interpreter, he addressed the general media after which he calmly refused to leave the conference podium until he spoke with Russian journalists.

“Half the world is against us,” Ustiugov told journalists.

He shared that the medal was in his backpack, and that he was very proud of it, but would not be wearing it at that time. This the latest in the developing saga of the doping dilemma surrounding the Russian cross-country team.

Read the original article from the Expressen here.

3 Comments For This Post

  1. ianism, Quebec, Canada says:

    this only makes me more suspicious that he himself is doping.

  2. xcskier22, Montana, says:

    What’s the big deal? He has the right to say whatever he wants, the same way that Bjoergen supported Johaug and said that she was innocent and the same way Niskanen paid tribute to Mika Myllyla (RIP), one of 6 Finns busted for doping at the Lahti worlds in 2001. Plus, McLaren and the whole political spiel behind it is starting to get exposed:

  3. ianism, Quebec, Canada says:

    sure he does. just I am allowed to interpret it they way I like. i think that if he truly cared about the cleanliness of the sport, he would have done it differently.
    Johaug is a slightly different case because it seems to be in more of a grey area. but yeah, if she was actually doping (not just some lip balm as has been claimed) then Bjoergen was also in the wrong. just because they’re nice people and your teammates doesn’t negate the fact that they cheated.

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