Ustiugov disqualified due to clash with Klaebo after crossing finish line
The Russian athlete and Norwegian Johannes Klaebo had a row.
Russian skier Sergey Ustiugov was disqualified after the semi-final sprint race at the World Championships in Seefeld, the International Ski Federation (FIS) said.
Ustiugov finished fifth and did not reach the final. His result was canceled.
During the race, a conflict broke out between the Russian athlete and Norwegian Johannes Klaebo: Ustiugov was shown a yellow card for breaking the rules of overtaking, and after the finish, he went to Klaebo and pushed him. Then the athletes continued their conversation in a raised voice.
The Russian team filed a protest against the behavior of the Norwegian skier in the semifinals but faced the reject.
Commenting on the situation, Klaebo noted that the incident was typical.
"I understood that Sergei is furious, he is now in good shape, and I am sure that on Saturday there will be a good fight," the athlete said.
He stressed that he has no complaints about the Russian.
Ustiugov explained that there was no fight.
"I just patted him on the cheek and wished good luck. My wish came in handy - Johannes became the winner," said the skier, noting that he had not yet had time to see what the situation looked like in the footage.
Alexander Grushin, the honored coach of the USSR and Russia in ski racing, believes that the clash between Ustiugov and Klaebo was unlikely to happen on purpose. Grushin described the incident as a struggle for a better position.
“Perhaps (Ustiugov) was thinking that Klaebo psychologically trembles and will give in. In such races it is tough to be aware of your actions, you do not have time to think,” he suggested.
A similar position is held by Russian skier Gleb Retivykh, who won the bronze in the sprint.
The athlete said that he had witnessed the clash between Ustiugov and Klaebo.
“Ustiugov just couldn’t cope with emotions in a fit of anger. I don’t think he was aware of his actions at that moment,” he said.
Also, Retivykh noted that the sprint is always a tough fight, which is understood not only by the spectators but also by the judges, who often forgive athletes for more severe violations.
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