Winter Olympics round-up: Christie’s ‘curse’ and Russian doping scandal rumbles on

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Elize Christie said she was cursed after she was disqualified in her 1,000m short track heat. (REUTERS)
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South Korea powered to gold in the women’s short track speed skating 3,000 meters relay. (AP)
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Martin Fourcade earned a third gold medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Games and solidified his legacy as the most successful Olympic champion in French history. (AFP)
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Russian Olympic medalist Alexander Krushelnitsky, who won bronze in Pyeongchang with his wife in mixed doubles curling, is set to face a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing. (REUTERS)
Updated 20 February 2018

Winter Olympics round-up: Christie’s ‘curse’ and Russian doping scandal rumbles on

SPEED SKATING: Elize Christie said she was cursed after she was disqualified in her 1,000m short track heat. The 27-year-old — who was in pain because of an ankle injury — was disqualified in her women’s 1,000 meters heat and had to be carried off the track on. It was a sad end to another disappointing Games for the Scot — a triple world champion. Christie, who was disqualified in all three of her events at Sochi 2014, fell in the 500m final and suffered the same fate in Saturday’s 1500m semifinal. And she said: “I guess you could say (I am cursed). It’s a bit weird that it seems to happen at Olympics and nowhere else. I’m not someone who commonly gets penalties and stuff, so it just seems mental. It’s just six races of my life that have gone completely wrong.”
Meanwhile, South Korea powered to gold in the women’s short track speed skating 3,000 meters relay, defending the title they won in Sochi. It was a typically wild race for the gold with several crashes and near wipeouts before South Korea grabbed control with two laps left. They muscled their way to the front, triggering a mighty roar from the near-capacity crowd, before holding on for victory to maintain their domination of the event. Canada won the first relay gold at the 1992 Albertville Olympics but South Korea have taken ownership since, topping the podium in six of the next seven Games with only China interrupting that run with victory in 2010. Italy took the silver while China and Canada were disqualified in the final to hand the bronze medal to the Netherlands who set a world record to win the B Final.

BIATHLON: Martin Fourcade earned a third gold medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Games and solidified his legacy as the most successful Olympic champion in French history by anchoring his team to victory in the biathlon mixed relay. The 29-year-old became the first athlete to win three gold medals in Pyeongchang, lifting his career tally to five Olympic golds. That is the most of any French athlete in Summer or Winter Olympics. Fourcade erased a 38-second deficit on the last leg of the relay by hitting all 10 shots to secure the French team to the come-from-behind win. Fourcade had enough of a lead to wave the French flag as he crossed the finish line for his team in one hour, eight minutes and 34.3 seconds, more than 20 seconds ahead of second place Norway.

CURLING: Russian Olympic medalist Alexander Krushelnitsky could not have taken a banned drug deliberately, Russia’s sports minister said after anti-doping authorities confirmed a violation that has rocked the Pyeongchang Games. Krushelnitsky, who won bronze in Pyeongchang with his wife in mixed doubles curling, and is set to face a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing in the near future after he tested positive for a banned substance, meldonium. “It’s obvious that in this particular case, the athlete could not have intentionally used a prohibited substance, it just does not make any sense,” Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said. “Curling, in theory, in not the kind of sport in which dishonest athletes dope,” he added. The Russian Olympic delegation said on Tuesday it could not explain how meldonium, which can aid endurance, ended up in Krushelnitsky’s body and that it was launching an investigation.


Ex-Pakistan cricket great Miandad says spot-fixers should be hanged

Updated 12 min 39 sec ago

Ex-Pakistan cricket great Miandad says spot-fixers should be hanged

  • 'An example should be set,' Miandad said on his YouTube channel on Friday
  • Cheating in cricket via match and spot-fixing has stained the country’s favorite sport for years

KARACHI: Cricketers involved in match-fixing should be hanged, former Pakistan batting great Javed Miandad suggested Friday.
Match-fixing and spot-fixing — determining the outcome of a specific part of a game rather than the overall result — have stained the country’s sport for several years.
“Players who are involved in spot-fixing should be severely punished,” Miandad, who scored Pakistan’s second-highest Test runs with 8832, said on his YouTube channel.
“Spot-fixers should be hanged because it is similar to killing someone, and so the punishment should also be on the same lines. An example should be set so that no player even thinks about doing something like this.”
His remarks follow player Mohammad Hafeez’s protests over former opener Sharjeel Khan’s return despite receiving a five-year ban in 2017 over a spot-fixing case.
Meanwhile, Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal faces a ban of six months to life after being charged for not reporting a fixing offer last month, a crime under Pakistan Cricket Board’s anti-corruption code.
Fixing was exposed in 1995 after Australians Shane Warne, Tim May and Mark Waugh alleged then-skipper Salim Malik offered them bribes to under-perform in matches.
That led to a judicial inquiry that banned Malik for life.
But in 2010, then Pakistan skipper Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were involved in a spot-fixing case that led to five-year bans.
Only Amir returned to international cricket — a comeback that also raised opposition, most prominently by Hafeez.