Winter Olympics 2018: No New Medal for Martin Fourcade, Second Case of Doping among Russians

Winter Olympics 2018
No new medal for Martin Fourcade at the Winter Olympics

France finished 5th in the men’s biathlon relay at the Winter Olympics, Russia won their first gold medal a few hours before facing a new case of doping.

There will be no fourth gold medal for Martin Fourcade in these Winter Olympics at Pyeongchang (South Korea). The hope flew away from the first minutes, during the relay of Simon Desthieux who could not find the target. In the end, the French finished 5th in the race for more than three minutes from Sweden, who were victorious.

The medal countup for France remains stuck at 15 medals two days before the end of the Olympics . A total that can only be improved on Saturday, since no French will be in contention in the final events Sunday.

Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing or speed skating?  Which one will the sports will possibly be able to bring home the 16th medal which will be the one offering France its record medal at the Winter Olympics.

First Russian gold medal

It’s a tragi-comedy that touched the Russian sport, Friday, during a day that had started so well.

Zagitova Alina , 15, had finally allow the delegation of Olympic athletes from Russia (SRO) to win his first gold medal at the 14th day of competition. A long wait in no way comparable to their success of four years ago in Sochi, before the scandal of institutionalized doping erupts.

It was even a double for Russia, Zagitova, who will turn 16 on May 18, ahead of Evgenia Medvedeva, 18. A double in the shape of a foil to the cumbersome doping file that accompanies the Russian sport for two years.

Russia's Alina Zagitova, gold medalist in figure skating at the Winter Olympics
Russia’s Alina Zagitova, gold medalist in figure skating, Gangneung, 23 February 2018. (© AFP / Dimitar DILKOFF)

Doping case for the bobsleigh team

Everything collapsed a few hours later, with the announcement of a case of doping in the bobsleigh team, the second of the Russian delegation in Pyeongchang.

“An anti-doping test of the driver of the Russian team Nadezhda Sergeeva on February 18th gave a positive result for a drug for the heart on the list of banned substances,” said the Russian bobsleigh federation. The bobsledder took the 12th place of its test, no medal is thus at stake.

According to a source close to the record, the incriminated product is trimetazidine, a drug used to prevent angina pectoris or visual acuity.

“Sample B analysis will be performed on Saturday morning.”

A closing parade under the Russian flag?

This new case for Russia falls terribly bad, after that of the curler Alexander Krushelnitsky, fallen Thursday with his wife of the bronze medal in mixed curling, for a positive control of meldonium.

Ironically, it is just before the Russian skaters receive their medals on the podium of the Olympics that the case of doping was announced … Very bad communication operation.

Because Saturday, the IOC must look at the return of Russia in the sports world.

The discussions will take place in the afternoon and the IOC Executive Board, the government of the instance, will make a recommendation. It will then be formally endorsed Sunday morning by the IOC members in session. And probably made public at this time.

Placed under the sign of relaxation between the two Koreas, will these Games also be between the IOC and Russia, despite these two cases of doping?

This would allow the Russians to officially parade under their colors on Sunday night at the closing ceremony. If this were the case, then it would not be surprising to see the young Zagitova be the standard bearer of this rebirth …

Or, the hockey players could steal the show: the Russians, winners of the Czech Republic (3-0), have qualified for their first final in 20 years, in which they will leave favorites on Sunday, against the surprising Germany, who defeated the doubles champion Canada (4-3).

Canada dominates ski cross

Friday was also marked by Canada’s domination of ski cross.
The ladies earned a brace with Kelsey Serwa in gold ahead of Brittany Phelan in silver, with Switzerland’s Fanny Smith winning bronze.

The disappointment was palpable in the French camp: weeping in the finish area after her elimination in the semifinal, Alizée Baron was able to recover to win the small final and rank 5th in the event. Her compatriot Marielle Berger-Sabbatel had not reached the quarter-finals.

Canada's Kelsey Serwa (g) and Brittany Phelan, gold and silver medalists, skicross at Winter Olympics, Pyeongchang, February 23, 2018.
Canada’s Kelsey Serwa (g) and Brittany Phelan, gold and silver medalists, skicross, Pyeongchang, February 23, 2018. (© AFP / Dimitar DILKOFF)

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