Skier attacks rival after ‘going crazy’
A Russian ski team were stripped of their bronze medal at the Cross-country World Cup after a nasty confrontation with a rival team.
Russia's Alexander Bolshunov cannonballed into heated rival Finn Joni Maki after they'd already crossed the finish line, sending both of them crashing to the group in a messy heap.
Bolshunov had earlier found himself unable to get past Maki in the closing stages of the 4x 7.5km team relay as they battled for the silver medal behind Norway, The Sun reports.
The Russian skier closed the gap on Maki but was unable to get past when the Finn blocked him with his body.
A furious Bolshunov threw one of his ski poles at Maki in the dying seconds of the race after giving up hope of sneaking past in the final 50m.
As the duo approached the finish line Bolshunov also tried to hit Maki's skis, but was unsuccessful.
That was just the start of their confrontation.
Once they crossed the line Bolshunov then deliberately smashed into his rival at speed with several teammates standing nearby.
A report on the FIS website confirmed the Russian first team had been disqualified as a result of the altercation.
It read: "Due to a tight situation in choosing the lines towards the finish, which triggered an unsportsmanlike behaviour of Bolshunov against Maki, Bolshunov [was] disqualified and thus the entire Team Russia 1."
Russian media described Bolshunov as 'going crazy' following his conduct at the end of the race.
Despite Russia's disappointment, the country did still pick up the bronze medal as their second team were promoted to third having originally finished in fourth place.
Norway eased to victory but perhaps the story of the day was the Finnish team who, on home soil, managed to finish on the podium in the men's relay for the first time ever.
- This story originally appeared on thesun.co.uk and has been republished with permission
Originally published as Skier attacks rival after 'going crazy'