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Fourcade storms off podium in doping protest

French biathlon star Martin Fourcade added fuel to allegations of Moscow state-sponsored doping by snubbing Russian rivals.

Martin Fourcade
Stanko Gruden/Agence ZoomGetty Images

Cold shoulder

French biathlon star Martin Fourcade added fuel to allegations of Moscow state-sponsored doping by giving Russian rivals the cold shoulder as medals were being presented in today’s world championships.

Fourcade, a 10-time world champion, overall World Cup holder since 2011 and a double Olympic gold medallist, walked away from the ceremony just as the Russian team were receiving their bronze medals for finishing third in the mixed relay event.

I'm off. Martin Fourcade leaves the podium.
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I'm off. Martin Fourcade leaves the podium.FRANCK FIFEAFP

No love lost

The Russian team meanwhile refused to shake hands with the 29-year-old silver medallist who has been leading calls for the International Biathlon Union (IBU) to crack down on doping. Russia's four-man team included Alexander Loginov who has returned to the sport after a two-year doping ban.

During the race on Thursday, Fourcade and Loginov even collided with the Russian falling to the floor. “Our team is a big family and if somebody behaves in a way which is not politically correct against a member of our team, this hurts me”, lamented Anton Shipulin.

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However, the Frenchman was unrepentant. “Can you explain to me what I have done?' Fourcade asked. “I did nothing bad during the race against Loginov. If I had then the French team would not have been classified in second place. I want to remind you that last week, the president of the Russian federation asked the international federation for a sanction against me for a tweet against Loginov and today the Russians refuse to shake my hand. I have received a lot of insults on social networks these last few days but I don't care. I am just sad that nobody is speaking of the sport today because they refused to shake my hand”,

Last month, the IBU dropped a probe into 22 Russian competitors named in the bombshell McLaren doping report, which alleged widespread state-backed doping in the country, but said that seven athletes were still under investigation.


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