Hope fades for Katie Uhlaender to receive bronze medal from 2014 Sochi Olympics
The Denver Post
For three years Breckenridge’s Katie Uhlaender lived with the heartache of missing a medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics by a mere four hundredths of a second, but her pain turned to hope last November when Russian Elena Nikitina was stripped of the bronze medal in skeleton sliding by the International Olympic Committee on doping charges.
Uhlaender had good reason to believe her fourth-place finish would be upgraded to the bronze medal, but that hope was taken away Thursday when the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned bans against Nikitina and 27 other Russian athletes and reinstated their results from Sochi. CAS, an independent arbitrator in Switzerland that serves as a court of appeals for international doping cases, said there was insufficient evidence of doping by those Russians. It left in place sanctions against 11 other Russians banned by the IOC and reduced their penalties from lifetime bans to suspensions from the Pyeongchang Olympics which start next week.
“I can say without a doubt, the integrity of sport is on the line,” Uhlaender told The Associated Press from South Korea, where she is preparing for her fourth Olympics. “And I’m looking to the leaders of a movement to do something to save it.”
Travis Tygart, the head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in Colorado Springs, faulted the IOC for moving too slowly on the matter and then rushing to judgment in a manner that forced CAS to lift the penalties for some.
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