Stripped Olympic skeleton champ gets last place after mishap (video)

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It might have been Alexander Tretiyakov‘s last skeleton run. It was not one to remember.

Tretiyakov, the Russian stripped of his Sochi gold medal and banned from the Olympics for life as part of a doping scandal, had an all-time blunder at the start of a World Cup race in Igls, Austria, on Friday.

Tretiyakov’s sled came out of the ice groove on his push start (similar to American John Daly in Sochi). Adding injury to insult, Tretiyakov fell on the ice before scrambling onto his sled.

Tretiyakov ended up 3.54 seconds behind the leader, in 34th place out of 34 sleds. He didn’t qualify for the 20-man second run.

Latvian Martins Dukurs, who stands to inherit the Sochi gold medal, won his 50th career World Cup. Full results are here.

Tretiyakov said afterward it may have been the final run of his career, according to R-Sport.

Why? Because Tretiyakov knows that at any moment he could be banned from international competition to go along with his Olympic doping ban.

Tretiyakov has denied cheating and is appealing the Olympic ban (along with another two dozen banned Russians across several sports).

The World Cup takes a holiday break until the first week of January, leaving Tretiyakov very uncertain to be allowed to race at the next event.

Later Friday, Russian Elena Nikitina notched her first win since her Sochi bronze medal was stripped and she was banned from the Olympics for life for doping by the IOC last month.

Nikitina, who also denied wrongdoing and has appealed, celebrated by pointing to the back of her helmet, which read, “Russia Means Strong.”

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