Gold medals guaranteed at Sigulda World Cup stage

Take note – story published 4 years and 4 months ago

Sigulda will host a BMW International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Cup stage for the second year in a row, but this year on February 15 the event will feature a presentation ceremony for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic medals awarded to Latvian bobsleigh athletes after the Russians were disqualified for doping, according to a Latvian Radio broadcast on February 6.

The 4-man bobsleigh team made up of Oskars Melbārdis, Daumans Dreiškens, Arvis Vilkaste and Jānis Strenga will be awarded a gold medal, and 2-man bobsleigh team composed of Melbārdis and Dreiškens will be awarded bronze. The medals will be presented according to International Olympic Committee (IOC) regulations by IBSF President Ivo Ferriani and an IOC Executive Committee member, only the lower steps of the podium will be vacant. The Olympic anthem will be played before presenting the medal, and Latvian one after.

“With presence and sympathy for the victory of justice we can comfort our athletes, to minimize the bitterness that at the Olympic Games location their gold medals were stolen,” said Latvian Olympic Committee President Aldonis Vrubļevskis.

The former silver-medalists have already returned their medals, and according to Latvian Vrubļevskis the gold medals are already in Latvia. Entry to the ceremony at the Sigulda track is free of charge, but it can be watched live on Latvian Television, or streamed on the International Olympic TV channel.

As previously reported, justice was very belatedly done on March 27, 2019 with confirmation that Latvia's gold medal bobsleigh team are winners of Olympic gold. Five years after the Sochi Olympics, the Latvian 4-man bobsleigh team were confirmed as the true champions after a lengthy appeals process by the cheating Russian team led by Alexander Zubkov was finally rejected by Olympic officials. 

Consequently the Latvian team will go into the history books as the champions from now on. The Russian team was guilty of doping, yet notwithstanding the fact Zubkov was later appointed chairman of the Russian Bobsled Federation. He only ended his tenure on March 20, 2019.

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