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Mikhail Botvinov (left)
Mikhail Botvinov (born November 17, 1967 in Lidinka, Russia) is a Russian-born Austrian cross country skier who competed from 1990 to 2007 for both Russia and Austria. He won two medals at the Winter Olympics with a silver in the men's 30 km freestyle mass start event in 2002 and a bronze in the men's 50 km freestyle mass start in 2006 (Both for Austria). He also competed for the Unified Team in the 1992 Winter Olympics and for Russia in the 1994 Winter Olympics.
Botvinov also won the 50 km event at the Holmenkollen ski festival in 1999, becoming the first Austrian to win the prestigious cross country event. He also won the Vasaloppet event in Sweden two years earlier.
His biggest successes were at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, where he won three medals. He won a bronze in 1993 for Russia in the 4 x 10 km relay. In 1999, representing Austria, won a gold in the 4 x 10 km relay and a bronze in the 50 km.
Botvinov defected from Russia to Austria in 1996 and was forced to sit out both the 1996-97 FIS World Cup Season and the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano until he could his citizenship status clarified, but returned to cross country form in 1998. He also encountered controversy with his teammate Christian Hoffmann regarding blood doping in 2002, though both cleared by the IOC on April 9, 2002.
Botvinov retired after the 2006-07 World Cup season.
- FIS Newsflash 122. April 11, 2007.
- Mikhail Botvinov at the International Ski Federation
- Holmenkollen winners since 1892 - click Vinnere for downloadable pdf file (Norwegian)
- skifaster.net April 9, 2002 article clearing Botvinov and Hoffman.
Media related to Mikhail Botvinov at Wikimedia Commons