The Korea Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (KBSF) is reportedly the second federation to announce a boycott of the upcoming world championships, meaning two of the top three skeleton sliders will not compete in the biggest competition of the season.
Only the KBSF skeleton team has announced a boycott; according to South Korean media, no decision has been announced by the bobsled team.
The IBSF Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championships are set to be held in Feb. 2017 in Sochi, Russia. Other nations, including the U.S., have threatened to boycott in the wake of the McLaren report, which contained serious allegations about a state-run doping program that involved 1,000 Russian athletes.
The Latvian skeleton federation, home to the reigning world champion in skeleton, was the first to announce that they would not participate in the world championships if they are not moved out of Russia.
Their announcement stated:
“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.”
Latvia’s Martins Dukurs, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, won skeleton gold at last year’s world championships, and South Korea’s Yun Sung-bin tied for silver.
With both athletes boycotting, Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov would be a clear favorite to win the world title. Tretyakov tied with Sung-bun for world silver in 2016, was the Olympic champion in Sochi and is one of the athletes named on the Sochi doping list, as first reported by The New York Times in May.