"The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have recommended the Championships shouldn’t be in Russia and that is something I would stand by and support," Olympic skeleton gold medalist Lizzy Yarnold [seen in photo] says.
Commentary by Liam Morgan for Inside the Games website, Nov 2, 2016:
Talk about coming back with a bang.
The expectation when Lizzy Yarnold was asked whether next year’s International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Championships should be moved from Sochi amid allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russia was that she would give the answer we have come to expect from sportsmen and women these days.
"The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have recommended the Championships shouldn’t be in Russia and that is something I would stand by and support," she said.
"I hope the IBSF are going to have serious discussions about what they're going to do.
"We know that it may be a state-sponsored doping issue and I don't want to compete at an event where there's not clean athletes and there's not guaranteed anti-doping systems and questions over what's going to happen to my samples and things like that.
"So I need to have complete confidence to compete at an event and I'm sure many athletes feel that way.
"We need to find out more, we are awaiting the second McLaren Report and then I'm going to have a proper think about it.
"If changes ahead of the Sochi World Championships I wouldn't rule out not competing."
Whether Yarnold lives up to the threat should the IBSF elect to take the path many of us would feel is the wrong one - keeping the competition in Sochi - when the second McLaren Report, which is likely to uncover further damning Russian revelations, is published next month is another matter.
But Yarnold, astute as she is, will know all too well that the sport’s worldwide governing body cannot afford for its star names to boycott the World Championships, for both competition and commercial reasons, and thus her speaking out puts automatic pressure on the IBSF to make the right call. Her words shift the ball firmly back into their court.
For complete text of the Morgan commentary, link below: