Why the sports world doesn’t miss Russia

 Why the sports world doesn’t miss Russia


If you needed a reminder that, for centuries, Europe has been riven by conflict and territory grabs and shifting alliances, you could do worse than spending time in Montpellier, France. Sitting pretty on the Mediterranean, halfway between Barcelona and Nice, this city of beach breezes and olive trees was ravaged by pirates in the Middle Ages, became a stronghold of the Crown of Aragon and was sold off to France, where it stood as a tactical 17th-century fortress under Louis XIII.

This week Montpellier, France’s seventh-largest city, again felt the reverberations of a divided continent. Only this time, it has been as host city of the World Figure Skating Championships. Quite apart from featuring the sport’s finest athletes, the event offered a glimpse of the sportscape with Russia lopped off. As the pre-printed promotional material made clear, Russians were expected to dominate the championships. Instead, they were frozen out.





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