Figure skating: Two Russians barred from Olympics - Metro US

Figure skating: Two Russians barred from Olympics

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian figure skater Ksenia Stolbova and ice dancer Ivan Bukin will not be allowed to take part in next month’s Olympic Games, the Russian Figure Skating Federation said on Tuesday, citing a directive from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“The unfounded and absurd decision once again demonstrates the IOC’s inability to eschew external influences on its decision-making,” the federation said in a statement.

The federation is poised to “immediately start fighting to restore a fair attitude toward Russian figure skaters and defend the honor and dignity of our athletes in all possible ways”.

The news came hours after the Russian Olympic Committee announced that short-track speed skater Viktor Ahn, biathlete Anton Shipulin and cross-country skier Sergei Ustyugov were not in the pool of Russian athletes eligible to compete at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The IOC banned Russia last month from Pyeongchang over “systematic manipulation” of the anti-doping system at the 2014 Sochi Games, but left the door open to athletes with no history of doping to compete as “Olympic Athletes from Russia”.

Stolbova and partner Fedor Klimov, who won silver in the pairs and gold in the team event in Sochi, took silver at the European championships in Moscow last week.

Stolbova could not immediately be reached for comment.

Bukin, who competes in ice dance with partner Alexandra Stepanova, won a European bronze medal this month.

(Writing by Polina Ivanova and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber,; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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