Elena Nikitina

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Elena Nikitina
Elena Nikitina at 2017 Lake Placid World Cup (cropped).jpg
Nikitina after a 2017 race in Lake Placid
Personal information
Full nameElena Valeryevna Nikitina
NationalityRussian
Born (1992-10-02) 2 October 1992 (age 26)
Moscow, Russia
Height167 cm (66 in)
Weight55 kg (121 lb)
Sport
Country Russia
SportSkeleton

Elena Valeryevna Nikitina (Russian: Елена Валерьевна Никитина;[1] born 2 October 1992 in Moscow) is a Russian skeleton racer who joined the national squad in 2009. She rides a Schneider sled, and her coach is Denis Alimov. Prior to starting skeleton, she was an association football (soccer) player.[2]

Notable results[edit]

Nikitina begin international competition in the 2010–11 season of the Europe Cup and Intercontinental Cup. She competed in her first Junior World Championships at Igls in 2012, where she finished in 8th place. Her first podium finish was recorded at the following Junior Worlds (also at Igls), which she won by a tenth of a second over Sophia Griebel.[3] Nikitina finished 12th in her first World Cup race, at Königssee in 2013, but went on to win the following week at Igls, 0.27 second ahead of Noelle Pikus-Pace.[4] Later that month, she came in 15th at her first senior World Championships, at St. Moritz.[2]

In the Olympic season of 2013–14, Nikitina recorded silver-medal performances at Park City and Calgary, which she followed up with a bronze at the 2014 Winter Olympics — from which she was later disqualified (see "Doping controversy" below). She continued to race on the Intercontinental and World Cup circuits, recording only one World Cup podium finish in 2014–15, at Altenberg, and no podiums in 2015–16 until she a bronze at the 2016 World Championships. (She also took home a silver in the combined bobsled-skeleton mixed team race at the same championships.)[2]

Nikitina raced at the 2016–17 season finale and Olympic test event in Pyeongchang in 2017, earning a silver medal and setting a women's skeleton start record for the newly-constructed track, 4.92 seconds.[5][6] In the 2017–18 World Cup season, she continued to post record start times (at both Lake Placid and Park City)[7] on her way to gold medals at Park City and Igls (the latter also being the European Championship) and a bronze at Winterberg.[2]

Nikitina became the first female Russian winning the Large Crystal Globe in the 2018–19 season.[8] She became also the second Russian (after Aleksandr Tretyakov) to do so.

Doping controversy[edit]

Nikitina was selected to represent Russia at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. In the first run, she set the start record, on the way to a bronze-medal finish. On 22 December 2016, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) notified the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF), the sport's governing body, that it had opened an investigation into alleged doping violations by the Russian team at the Sochi games, and the IBSF responded by issuing a provisional suspension to four athletes, including Nikitina. After a hearing on 3 January 2017, the IBSF lifted the provisional ban, allowing the athletes to compete for the remainder of the 2016–17 season.[9]

On 22 November 2017, Nikitina was disqualified of her Olympic bronze medal and given a lifetime ban from Olympic competition.[10] Nikitina and several others were again provisionally suspended by the IBSF in accordance with this decision, but a hearing panel ruled that the suspension could not be maintained until the IBSF receives and evaluates the formal record of decision from the IOC, so she was reinstated on 1 December 2017, having missed a World Cup race at Whistler.[11] Nikitina and 21 other sanctioned Russian athletes appealed the IOC decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport on 6 December;[12] a consolidated hearing for all the sanctioned Russian athletes was held the week of 22 January. An unrelated appeal to the CAS by the IBSF, to restore the provisional ban overturned by the IBSF's own hearing panel, was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.[13]

The CAS arbitrators ruled on 1 February 2018 that there was not sufficient, individualized evidence of anti-doping rule violations to sanction Nikitina and 27 other athletes, ordering that her Sochi bronze medal be reinstated and reversing the ban on Olympic participation, while upholding sanctions on a number of others.[14] The IOC said that it would consider appealing to the Swiss Federal Tribunal, which hears appeals from the CAS.[15] Because the Russian Olympic Committee as a whole had been suspended from the Olympic movement, Nikitina and other Russian athletes could only participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics if issued a formal invitation by the IOC, but the IOC did not invite any Russian women skeletoners (the invitations were actually issued before the CAS handed down its ruling) and the Russian quota spots were reassigned to other countries.[16] The athletes appealed their non-invitation before the CAS's Ad-hoc Division at the games, but the panel determined that not being invited to the Olympics did not constitute a sanction against them, but rather a special benefit conferred on those who were invited, and thus the IOC had not abused its discretion or flouted the CAS decision overturning the previous sanctions.[17]

World Cup results[edit]

All results are sourced from the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF).[2]

Season 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Points Place
2012–13 LKP
PKC
WHI
WIN
10
LPL
ALT
KON
12
IGL
1
SOC
5
681 18th
2013–14 CAL
2
PKC
6
LKP1
22
LKP2
20
WIN
11
STM
14
IGL
6
KON
N/A 934 13th
2014–15 LKP
CAL
ALT
KON
3
STM
17
IGL1
12
IGL2
9
SOC
N/A 696 17th
2015–16 ALT
6
WIN
13
KON1
12
LKP
PKC
WHI
STM
12
KON2
N/A 552 18th
2016–17 WHI
17
LKP
18
ALT
WIN
18
STM
20
KON
16
IGL
4
PYE
2
N/A 814 14th
2017–18 LKP
4
PKC
1
WHI
WIN
3
IGL
1
ALT
5
STM
7
KON
14
N/A 1306 4th
2018–19 SIG
1
WIN
4
ALT
1
KON
CNX
IGL
2
STM
2
LKP
1
CAL1
4
CAL2
5
1663 1st

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.rusbob.ru/files/spisok_kandidatov_v_sbornuyu_russia_2011_2012.pdf
  2. ^ a b c d e "Elena NIKITINA". International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  3. ^ "Junior World Championship (Innsbruck) (Women's skeleton)". International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation. 16 December 2012. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  4. ^ "BMW IBSF World Cup (Innsbruck) (Women's skeleton)". International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  5. ^ "BMW IBSF World Cup (Pyeongchang) (Women's skeleton)". International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  6. ^ "BMW IBSF World Cup: World Champion Lölling wins skeleton finale and overall World Cup" (press release). International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  7. ^ Stahlhacke, Angela (13 December 2017). "Media Guide Athletes: Skeleton — Innsbruck (AUT)" (PDF). International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  8. ^ Никитина стала первой российской скелетонисткой, выигравшей Большой хрустальный глобус
  9. ^ "IBSF lifts the Provisional Suspension of Four Russian Skeleton Athletes after Hearing" (press release). International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  10. ^ IOC Disciplinary Commission (22 November 2017). "Decision issued by the IOC Disciplinary Commission in the proceedings between the International Olympic Committee and Elena Nikitina (SML–008)" (PDF). International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  11. ^ "IBSF Hearing Panel decides the provisionally suspension on several Russian athletes and officials must be lifted" (Press release). International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  12. ^ "22 Russian athletes file appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)" (PDF) (Press release). Court of Arbitration for Sport. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  13. ^ "The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) does not have jurisdiction to entertain the appeal filed by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF)" (PDF) (Press release). Court of Arbitration for Sport. 4 January 2018. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  14. ^ "The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) delivers its decisions in the matter of 39 Russian athletews v/ the IOC: 28 appeals upheld, 11 partially upheld" (PDF) (Press release). Court of Arbitration for Sport. 1 February 2018. Retrieved 2018-02-01. Both CAS panels unanimously found that the evidence put forward by the IOC in relation to this matter did not have the same weight in each individual case. In 28 cases, the evidence collected was found to be insufficient to establish that an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) was committed by the athletes concerned. With respect to these 28 athletes, the appeals are upheld, the sanctions annulled and their individual results achieved in Sochi 2014 are reinstated.
  15. ^ "IOC Statement on CAS Decision" (Press release). 1 February 2018. Retrieved 2018-02-01. The result of the CAS decision does not mean that athletes from the group of 28 will be invited to the Games. Not being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation.
  16. ^ Bauerfeind, Raik (28 January 2018). "XXIII Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Skeleton – Participation" (PDF). International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  17. ^ "CAS OG 18/03 Alexander Legkov et al.v. International Olympic Committee" (PDF). Court of Arbitration for Sport. 9 February 2018. Retrieved 2018-02-19. The Panel appreciates the distress and disappointment expressed by the Applicants present at the hearing about their loss of opportunity to participate at the OWG 2018, particularly because they believe the CAS decisions issued 1 February 2018 proved that they were not “cheaters”. As this Panel has noted, we are only deciding whether the process implemented by the IOC, in circumstances where the ROC was suspended and has failed to rebut the evidence of systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia, was permissible and provided a fair opportunity for some athletes to be offered an opportunity to participate at the Games. The Panel has determined that the process, while it may have been imperfect due to time constraints, was appropriate, independent and fairly carried out.

External links[edit]