Latvian hockey player Ralfs Freibergs was retroactively booted from the Sochi Olympics for failing a drug test after his nation was eliminated.
Freibergs’ expulsion marked a record eighth athlete disqualified from a single Winter Games, according to The Associated Press, citing the previous record as seven from the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
Freibergs, 22, failed a urine test from Feb. 20, shortly after Latvia was bounced from the hockey quarterfinals by Canada. He tested positive for a banned steroid.
The other seven Sochi Olympians to test positive:
Nicklas Backstrom, Sweden, hockey
Vitalijs Pavlovs, Latvia, hockey
Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, Germany, biathlon
William Frullani, Italy, bobsled
Daniel Zalewski, Poland, bobsled
Johannes Duerr, Austria, cross-country skiing
Marina Lisogor, Ukraine, cross-country skiing
Agent: Plushenko wants to compete again
Russia’s ski and snowboard federation president was pretty impressed with how Sochi put on the Winter Olympics, so much so that she doubts Pyeongchang can match it.
“I believe it is unrealistic to repeat in Korea what happened in Sochi – the infrastructure and everything,” Svetlana Gladysheva said, according to R-Sport. “So the Koreans are a bit upset. Actually, Korea is shocked. Local workers would obviously be trained, but holding the Olympics as Sochi did is unlikely.”
The R-Sport article said Gladysheva was referring to Sochi’s success in hosting the Olympics.
Pyeongchang organizers saw how Sochi handled the Olympics and believe they will be ready in 2018.
“Pyeongchang has been on this bid process for such a long time that they’ve already set up a lot of infrastructure and things like that to prove to the IOC that they are ready to host these Games,” 2006 U.S. Olympic bronze medalist moguls skier Toby Dawson, who has been part of the 2018 team, said last month. “Their mission is to have the best Winter Olympic Games ever to date, so they seem to be very organized and ahead of schedule in comparison to some of these other countries that are hosting the Olympics. They’re right on schedule with all their construction work, seem to have hired on a lot of new faces and people and will be ready well before the Games instead of putting all the pieces together right before the Games start.”
Yevgeny Plushenko wants to compete again, agent says
The Olympic Stadium that held Opening and Closing Ceremonies in Sochi is set to host soccer matches a little earlier than expected.
Sochi’s soccer club, FC Zhemchuzhina, is being reformed, Russia Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko said, according to Inside World Football, citing Russian news agency ITAR-TASS.
“The stadium will be handed over to the Krasnodar Region, and they have everything at their disposal which abides to the standards set by FIFA,” Mutko said. “The stadium will soon have a football club. We will return the traditions of Sochi’s Zhemchuzhina.”
FC Zhemchuzhina’s last recorded match on its R-Sport club page was in 2011.
Fisht Stadium was already going to be converted for soccer after the Paralympics because its one of the venues for the 2017 Confederations Cup and 2018 World Cup.
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