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  • Ria Novosti Roundup - Olympics Suspension; Moscow 2013 Medals; Isinbayeva Heads Delegation


    Alexander Edler (RIA Novosti)
    Hockey Federation: Edler Ban Extends to Sochi Olympics

    Alexander Edler is set to miss Sweden's first two games of the Sochi Olympic hockey tournament after the International Ice Hockey Federation ruled that that the defenseman's suspension for a brutal hit at the world championships in May would extend to the 2014 Winter Games in Russia.

    Edler, 27, collided with the Carolina Hurricanes' Eric Staal in the quarterfinals of the competition, causing a third-degree sprain of the Canadian captain's medial collateral ligament.

    "The IIHF Disciplinary Committee decided to give Swedish defenseman Alexander Edler an additional two-game suspension for a knee-on-knee hit at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship," the organization said in a statement Tuesday.

    The hit put Staal out of action for three months and led to a competition ban for Edler, who subsequently sat out the semifinal and gold medal match won by his teammates against Switzerland.

    He deserved further punishment because the action was "reckless, dangerous and in disregard to the vulnerability of his opponent for which he must be held accountable," the IIHF said.

    Edler, who has 206 points in 431 regular-season games over seven seasons with the Vancouver Canucks, will miss games against the Czech Republic on February 12 and Switzerland two days later.

    Moscow 2013 World Athletics Championship Medals Unveiled

    Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow will lost the 2013 IAAF Championships (RIA Novosti)
    The organizers of next month's world athletics championships in Moscow unveiled the medals Tuesday, revealing a hollowed-out whirlwind design.

    Forty-seven sets of medals will be up for grabs in the August 10-18 event at Luzhniki Stadium in the capital, the first large-scale athletics meet in Russia since the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

    Asked if there was anything he liked about the medals, IAAF vice-president Sebastian Coe said: "There is everything I like about these medals.”

    “It's traditional in shape and it feels right in the athlete's hand. I think it is a perfect medal.”

    The medals are 7.7 centimeters (three inches) in diameter, with the gold medals made of brass and plated with the precious metal itself.

    Isinbayeva Heads Russia Squad at World Athletics Champs

    Outgoing pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva heads a strong Russian squad featuring 12 Olympic champions for next month's world athletics championships on home soil.

    The 118-strong roster
    Isinbayeva Heads Russia Squad at World Athletics Champs (RIA Novosti)
    includes all eight victors at last year's London Olympics as well as Isinbayeva, who announced last week she would retire after the August 10-18 event at Luzhniki Stadium ends.

    The likes of London high jump champion Ivan Ukhov and 400m hurdles champion Natalya Antyukh are called up to meet the Russian Athletics Federation's relatively modest target of six gold medals, which was set last week.

    "Our task it to win six gold medals and 16 medals in total," said national athletics coach Valentin Maslakov back then.

    Six athletes including 800m star Mariya Savinova and high jumper Anna Chicherova will look to defend their titles won in Daegu, South Korea, in 2011.

    The other current or former Olympic champions in the Russian team are Sergey Kirdyapkin (50 km walk), Yury Borzakovsky (800m), Yelena Slesarenko (high jump), Yulia Zaripova (3000 m steeplechase), and Tatyana Lysenko (hammer throw).

    By comparison, the United States will fly in nine reigning champions and 20 London Olympic medalists.

    The world championships are the first major outdoor athletics competition in Russia since the 1980 Olympics.

    They have been somewhat overshadowed from the doping-related withdrawals of sprinting stars Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, and the injury to reigning 100m champion Yohan Blake.

    Officials earlier unveiled the medal design, lauded as "perfect" by London 2012 chief organizer and Moscow Olympic 1,500m champion Sebastian Coe.

    Published by exclusive arrangement with Around the Rings’ Sochi 2014 media partner RIA-Novosti.

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