Russia protested Maxim Vylegzhanin’s fourth-place finish in the skiathlon at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics to the ski federation because they believe he was interfered with at the finish line. The federation rejected the complaint.
Vylegzhanin lost a tight race against Martin Johnsrud Sundby for bronze, with the Norwegian finishing 0.1 seconds in front. However, Sundby cut into the Russian’s lane shortly before the finish line, and the Russian team claimed it had given him an unfair advantage.
The International Ski Federation upheld the results after a brief jury deliberation, but gave Sundby a written reprimand over the maneuver. However, the jury ruled it didn’t affect the results as Sundy was already in front of Vylegzhanin and would have won the sprint anyway, FIS spokesman Michal Lamplot said.
The rule says a skier cannot leave their lane.
No. 343.9 of the International Ski Competition Rules states that: “In all competitions obstruction is not allowed. This behavior is defined as deliberately impeding, blocking (by not following best line), charging or pushing any competitor with any part of the body or ski equipment.”
Dario Cologna of Switzerland won gold and Marcus Hellner from Sweden won silver. Vylegzhanin did not take a stand either way.
“Was I cut up? Everyone who watched the race saw that we fought to the end. What happened, happened,” he said.
Russia has 72 hours to appeal.