Pursuant to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision that ice dancer, Ivan Bukin, the son of the 1988 Olympic ice dance champion, Andrei Bukin, and pairs skater Ksenia Stolbova would not be invited to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, the Russian Figure Skating Federation (RFSF) replaced both teams on its Olympic Athletes from Russia roster. Bukin, Stolbova and their respective partners (Alexandra Stepanova and Fedor Klimov) were invited to join the approved athletes at a training camp in Fukuoka, Japan on Jan. 27 but declined, stating they would use the time to prepare for the World Championships in March.
The IOC does not make public the reasons behind its decisions.
According to Russian news sources, Stolbova and Bukin are challenging the IOC in the Switzerland Civil Court. “The lawyers have received powers of attorney from Stolbova and Bukin. It was decided to challenge the non-admission to the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang in the civil court of Switzerland. They will not apply to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” RFSF president Alexander Gorshkov explained.
In an interview with the TASS news agency, revered Russian coach Alexei Mishin said he expects the ladies to claim gold and silver but is not so sure about the other disciplines:
“…we need to take two places, including gold. I think that gold and silver will be. In pairs skating we have chances from gold to bronze. For male singles, a good result will be a hit on the podium. Men will find it difficult to compete for a medal, although Kolyada has shown results close to this. I regard the chances of our boys getting on the podium as possible, but the gold medal seems to me in a fog.” Mishin expects the ice dance teams to rank at least two places lower than at the European Championships.
2018 Olympic Winter Games
Men: Mikhail Kolyada, Dmitri Aliev
Ladies: Alina Zagitova, Evgenia Medvedeva, Maria Sotskova
Pairs: Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov, Natalia Zabiiako/Alexander Enbert, Kristina Astakhova/Alexei Rogoonov
Ice Dance: Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Solovyev, Tiffani Zahorski/Jonathan Guerreiro