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Canada to gain luge bronze from Sochi Olympics due to Russian doping

Canada's Sam Edney (left) is consoled following his team's fourth-lace finish in the Luge Team Relay at the Sochi Winter Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. Canada's luge relay team is set to gain a bronze medal from the Sochi Olympics.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
December 22, 2017 - 3:00 PM

LAUSANNE, Switzerland - Canada's luge relay team is set to gain a bronze medal from the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The upgrade is a result of Russian athletes being stripped of medals over doping allegations.

It will be Canada's first Olympic luge medal.

Calgary sliders Sam Edney, Alex Gough and Justin Snith and Tristan Walker of Cochrane, Alta., were on the relay team the finished fourth in Sochi.

"I was texting Sam today," said former Canadian luger Jeff Christie, chair of the Canadian Olympic Committee's athletes commision.

A television commentator in Sochi, Christie said he thought he would have been calling Canada's first lug medal when he was in Sochi, but the Canadians were a tenth of a second off the podium.

"It's the big issue of doping in sport," Christie said Friday. "People say 'Don't worry, eventually the medal will get awarded.' There's the time, there's the moment. Athletes live for the moment. The moment wasn't there. We've got to recreate the moment for them."

"I said to Sam this morning on text 'Go for the double-double. You've got Korea coming up. Get your moment. You have your medal now. The pressure of getting a medal is gone. Now, go get your moment.'"

The International Olympic Committee ruled Friday on the last 11 of 46 current doping cases and says all have been disqualified from the Sochi Games and banned from the Olympics for life.

The athletes, in five different sports, include Albert Demchenko, the silver medallist in men's luge and mixed team luge relay.

A second member of the mixed team, Tatiana Ivanova, has also been also disqualified for taking part in organized doping.

Canada finished fourth, behind gold medallist Germany, Russia and bronze winner Latvia, which now moves up a step on the podium. Germany gains a bronze in the men's event while Italy moves up to silver.

While Christie said there's no point in dwelling on the past, he did point out that his sport's funding was impacted by the lack of medals in Sochi.

"They were a Tier 3 sport," he said. "They could have been a Tier 2 spot with (Own the Podium). What could that have done?

"They're still all there. Maybe the four years have pushed them to be even better."

Two cross-country skiers disqualified Friday, Nikita Kryukov and Alexander Bessmertnykh, already lost team event medals in recent weeks when other Russians were disqualified.

Of the 46 hearings, three athletes were cleared.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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