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Olympic skeleton champ open to boycott of 2017 World Championships

Skeleton - Winter Olympics Day 6

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 13: Lizzy Yarnold of Great Britain makes a run during the Women’s Skeleton heats on Day 6 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Sliding Center Sanki on February 13, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

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British Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold reportedly said she “wouldn’t rule out” skipping the 2017 World Championships because they’re scheduled to be held in Russia.

Yarnold, who sat out last season, called out Russia’s well-publicized anti-doping problems on Monday, saying she would support moving February’s world bobsled and skeleton championships out of Sochi.

“The [International Olympic Committee] and [World Anti-Doping Agency] have recommended the championships aren’t in Russia, and that is something I would stand by and support,” Yarnold said, according to the Press Association news agency. “I hope the [International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation] are going to have serious discussions about what they’re going to do about the world championships in Sochi.

“We know that it may be a state-sponsored doping issue, and I don’t want to compete at an event where there are not clean athletes and questions over what is going to happen to my doping samples.

“We need to find out more, but if nothing changes ahead of the Sochi World Championships, then I wouldn’t rule out not competing.”

The 2017 World Championships were awarded to Sochi in June 2013.

On July 19 of this year, following rampant Russian anti-doping issues, the IOC asked all winter sports federations to “freeze their preparations for major events in Russia, such as world championships ... and to actively look for alternative organizers.”

The IOC later clarified that statement, telling federations it did not apply to events whose host cities were already chosen, according to Inside the Games.

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