ROSA KHUTOR, Russia, February 13 (R-Sport) – A protest against Russians monopolizing the practice facilities at the Sochi Olympic sliding center has been rejected, officials said Thursday.
The Australian skeleton team had protested against the host nation not allowing other athletes to use a so-called push track at the Sanki Sliding Center. The facility allows contestants to work on their starts, a crucial part of all sliding sports.
The verdict from the International Bobsled and Toboggan Federation stated that the push track did not come under the jurisdiction of the federation, allowing the Russians to continue to exclude other athletes.
Had the protest been successful, it could have affected the three Russians in the skeleton competition, third-placed Olga Nikitina, fifth-placed Olga Potylitsina and sixth-placed Maria Orlova.
Britain's Lizzy Yarnold holds the lead after the first two runs of the competition Thursday, with Noelle Pikus-Pace of the United States in second. The decisive third and fourth runs are on Friday and the winner is the slider with the lowest cumulative time.
In the run-up to the Sochi Olympics, Russian athletes have had far more practice time at Olympic facilities than competitors from other countries as part of their training regime.