Biathlon Sochi 2014


By Duncan Mackay and Nick Butler in Sochi
Click refresh for latest updates. All times stated are Russian

BREAKING: Latvian ice hockey player Vitalijs Pavlovs excluded from Sochi 2014 after positive drugs test.

Pavlovs, 24, tested positive on 19 February for methylhexaneamine - the same drug it emerged German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and Italian bobsleigher William Frullani each failed a test for yesterday.

The statement added that Pavlovs was disqualified from the Latvia's quarter-finals against Canada and that he should be excluded from the Games - with his Olympic identity and accreditation card immediately cancelled.

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) is also requested to decide on further action within its competence - including whether Latvian performances at the Games should remain valid.

This comes after Ukrainian cross-country skier Maryna Lisogor became the third athlete to fail a drugs test at Sochi 2014 earlier today (see 15:04-15:22 for more


00:10 But for now its au revoir for another night. See you tomorrow!

00:04 We will be back tomorrow for the final day of Sochi 2014 - with the ice hockey final between Sweden and Canada a major highlight ahead of the Closing Ceremony.

23:31 And that really sums up the day to be honest. Russian success as they take over from Norway at the top of the medals table - while Austria were another country to enjoy plenty of success on day 14.

23:20 So after the second run of the bobsleigh it is Russia who lead ahead of Latvia and Germany - who endured a less successful second run.

21:37 Germany have endured a disappointing time in bobsleigh in Sochi until now - but they hold the lead after run one of the four-man event - ahead of the US and Russia. 

21:26 Finland win the bronze medal in ice hockey. A bad 24 hours of ice hockey medal matches for the US is continued as Finland win a medal for the third Games in a row with a convincing 5-0 victory. The 43-year veteran Teemu Selanne,scored twice en route to winning a fourth Olympic medal.

Sochi 2014 gold medal21:09 Gold is taken by Mario Matt Mario Matt of Austria as he holds his nerve to win with a time of 1 min 41.84 sec ahead of compatriot Marcel Hirscher and Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway. 

21:07 It is now 5-0 in the ice hockey now and getting embarrassing for the US. A clinical counter-attack by the Finns and Olli Maatta converts. "This game is finnish-d now", quips insidethegames editor Duncan Mackay.

21:04 Andrew Myhrer of Sweden, second after run one, misses a gate and just Matt is left of the leading contenders. We are guaranteed an Austrian winner.

21:02 Closing stages of the slalom now and Herscher still leads from Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway

21:01 Make that 4-0 and Finland are heading for their third consecutive Winter Olympic ice hockey medal.

20:54 It looks as if the US are heading for fourth place as Finland move 3-0 ahead with 14 minutes to go in the ice hockey bronze medal match. Juuso Hietanen with the latest strike - a spectacular long-range effort.

20:42 Meanwhile, we are well into the second run of the slalom - with Austria's world champion Marcel Hirscher producing a vastly improved second run to stop the clock at 1 min 42.67 and in doing so, take the lead. 

20:30 End of the second period and Finland still lead the US 2-0 in the ice hockey bronze medal match. US certainly creating chances - and they only have to remember the fate that befell the US women in their final against Canada to know they are still in this one...

William Frullani officially excluded from Sochi 2014 following positive test

20:12 The IOC have this evening confirmed that Italian bobsledder William Frullani has been excluded from Sochi 2014.

In a statement they confirm that Frullani, 34, tested positive on Tuesday (February 18) for methylhexaneamine and has had his accreditation revokes with immediate affect - with the International Bobsleigh and Tobogganing Federation (FIBT) is requested to consider any further action within its own competence.

This follows the announcement of the Italians failed test yesterday and also follows official confirmation being sent late last night concerning the positive result recorded by German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle.

It was revealed in a message today on the Ukrainian NOC website that Ukraine's cross-country skier Maryna Lisogor has become the third athlete to fail a test - although the IOC have not yet officially confirmed this. 

Biathlon, speed skating, slalom and ice hockey medal action

20:10 Selanne became the oldest player to score in Olympic history then. Plenty of chances for the US after - but Patrick Kane hits the crossbar with a penalty stroke and  the Finns stay 2-0 up. Desperate times for the US.

20:01 Finland score twice to go 2-0 up over the US in the ice hockey battle for bronze.

After a scoreless opener 43-year-old Teemu Selanne finds the net for a 42nd Olympic goal, before seconds later the Finns score again as Jussi Jokinen doubles the advantage. Selanne and Finland have won medals at three out of the last four Games and are en route to do so again...

19:54 We were talking about Norway creating daylight on the medals table halfway through that relay but - after their two biggest names failed to perform at their best on the final two legs - they lost the race and also lost the poll position on the medals table.

Russia go top of the pile after taking an 11th gold medal!

Anton Shipulin celebrates after overhauling the German team to propel Russia to a thrilling biathlon relay gold ©Getty ImagesAnton Shipulin celebrates after overhauling the German team to propel Russia to a thrilling biathlon relay gold ©Getty Images

Sochi 2014 gold medal19:42 A quite sensational gold medal  for Russia! Anton Shipulin in the final 400m as the crowd simply propels him to victory. Ice hockey aside, it got the loudest reaction in the media room as well. Germany have to settle for silver and Austria take bronze.

19:39 It is looking like Germany and Russia for the gold - and Austria for bronze. The atmosphere is incredible again as it always is where the home crowd get a whiff of gold...

19:37 This is a big moment in the biathlon - they are in the shooting range. Schemp of Germany is out first. Then Shipulin of Russia and then Landertinger of Austria.

Svendsen is having a nightmare for Norway and have their medal chances , let alone then golden ones, gone?

19:32 What a finish we have in store in the biathlon: Russia, Norway, Germany and Austria are locked together on the final leg...

There's nothing in it in the ice hockey either - though much longer to go. Still 0-0 between Finland and the US. 

19:27 Sochi 2014 gold medalIt never seemed likely that anything else would happen - but the Netherlands romp home by 7.50 seconds for stunning victory.

Marritt Leenstra, Jorien ter Mors and Ireen Wust win an eighth Dutch gold of the Games - and an eighth Olympic medal and fourth gold for Ireen Wust - her fifth medal of Sochi 2014!

19:24 Bjoerndalen is getting caught here. Drama in the mountains as Arnd Peiffer closes the gap to just two seconds at the end of the leg - despite the Norwegian not missing a shot. Excitement in the Olympic Park as well as Russia beat Japan for speed skating bronze.

Poland against guess who in the final.

19:17 Action is also underway in the men's bronze medal match in ice hockey. 0-0 in the first period between Finland and Norway.

The Netherlands celebrate yet more speed-skating gold in the men's team pursuit ©AFP/Getty ImagesThe Netherlands celebrate yet more speed-skating gold in the men's team pursuit ©AFP/Getty Images

19:10 Back to the biathlon and Johannes Thingnes Boe stretches Norway's lead to 24 seconds and hands over to Bjoerndalen. How will the record medallist shoot today? He shot superbly in the mixed relay but less well in the mass start race before that. With Emil Hegle Svensen to come you feel that the gold is Norway so long as no major errors are made.

Russia have come into second place as Austria move past Germany for third. But those three are fighting only for the minor medals at the moment...

Sochi 2014 gold medal19:04 It's a seventh gold medal in the speed-skating, and overall, for the Dutch as the team of Jan Blockhuijsen, Sven Kramer and Koen Verweij clock three minutes, 37.71 seconds to break the Olympic record and win gold.

A good fighting effort by South Korea but they eventually miss out by 3.14 sec and have to settle for silver. 

19:02 A really good start by South Korea, but gradually the Netherlands are beginning to edge ahead. They now lead by half a second...

18:59 South Korea's men ave endured a disappointing Games so far. That will be all be forgotten if they can shock the Netherlands in the final. A big ask though. In fact, a big big ask.

18:57 Poland take the speed-skating bronze medal. Canada, the defending champions, led for so long but could not keep going and the Poles eventually sneaked home by 2.32 seconds. 

18:52 It is Norway who are out inn front after leg one of the biathlon. A superb performance from Tarjei Boe to put 10 seconds into Erik Lesser of Germany. Russia lie third. 

18:50 We also have the small matter of the speed-skating finals as the evening begins to gather some pace. First up it is the bronze medal match between Canada and Poland. 

18:41 After the excitement of Ukrainian gold yesterday, it is the men's biathlon relay today. Could it be a 14th Olympic medal for Ole Einar Bjoerndalen? Probably is the answer because his Norway team look pretty formidable.

Mario Matt of Austria leads in the slalom ©AFP/Getty ImagesMario Matt of Austria leads in the slalom after one of two runs ©AFP/Getty Images

18:32 For the record Goutt of East Timor completes his run in 1 min 9.01 sec - which puts him some 22 seconds off the pace and in 77th and last place. Last place of all those who finished though - because a massive 37 of the 115 starters did not. 

Only the top 30 go into the second run later on. 

insidethegames Olympic historian Philip Barker at the men's slalom

philip barker18:18 There is a fan club here at Rosa Khutor for 19-year-old skier  Yohan Goncalves Goutt of East Timor.

He is their only competitor and carried their flag at the Opening Ceremony. He has been skiing in Europe. His mum Carolina is Chef de Mission of the team. The family fled by fishing boat to Australia when East Timor was invaded by Indonesia in the seventies.

Helped by his family and friends he set up the ski Association which received international recongnition enabling him to compete. Although his country have had Olympic participants since 2000 in Sydney, he is the first competitor from East Timor to qualify as of right for the Olympics and their first Winter Olympian.

He will be last to go this afternoon.

We've brought you a lot of press conferences today but not many pictures of them. Here is the Pyeongchang 2018 team in action in a fairly full Pushkin Hall ©Getty ImagesWe've brought you a lot of press conferences today but not many pictures of them. Here is the Pyeongchang 2018 team in action in a fairly full Pushkin Hall ©Getty Images

17:54 The Netherlands will face Poland in the women's speed-skating final later on. The Dutch clocked 2 min 58.43 sec to win the second semi-final by a whopping 12 seconds over Japan. The Poles meanwhile, clocked 3 min 00.60 sec to win by a much narrower margin over Russia.

17:40 Some skiers are still going in the first run of the slalom - but all the big names have gone. The top three remains Matt the Myhrer at the top. Giant slalom winner Ted Ligety only does enough for sixth place.

Quote graphic"The good thing about the team pursuit is that all the Dutch skaters are in one team, so they can only win one medal."
- US speed skating coach Kip Carpenter had enough of Dutch podium sweeps.

17:25 Getting towards the end of the first run of the slalom now and still nobody has got close to Austrian leader Mario Matt. Myhrer of Sweden remains second with another Swede, Mattias Hargin, sharing third place with Stefano Gross of Italy.

17:16 Vic Wild's gold earlier on this afternoon added to the number of Russian athletes who have won titles after switching nationality from another country.

Wild was born in the United States, while ex-South Korean speed-skater Viktor Ahn has won three gold medals and a bronze and the and one half of the gold medal winning figure skating pair consisted of Tatiana Volosozhar - who previously competed for Ukraine.

But Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko dismissed the notion that they are consciously targeting foreign athletes.

"There's no target to achieve hegemony in sport by means of naturalization," Mutko said. "There will be no total naturalization. We will compete using our own potential."

17:05 It is real day of slalom in Sochi today because the men's Alpine event is underway. Mario Matt of Austria has taken the early lead ahead of Andre Myhrer of Sweden. 

Crowds gather to watch the parallel slalom snowboard action earlier on today ©Getty ImagesCrowds gather to watch the parallel slalom snowboard action earlier on today
©Getty Images

Quote graphic"I'm not thinking about how many gold medals I have. This year the 30km was of course a motivation for me, I really wanted the gold medal and I'm really happy. It was just an incredible day, especially with Kristin Stoermer Steira getting her first medal. It's good for our teammates and all our team and for our waxing guys. It's an incredible day for us."
- Norway's Marit Bjoergen after winning her third gold of Sochi 2014, and sixth Olympic gold overall in a 30km mass start biathlon race in which Norway swept the medal positions.

16:56 An interesting story being reported concerning the expulsion and suspension of Russian biathlete Ekaterina Glazyrina  over comments made on a social network website, 

According to Ria Novosti, Glazyrina, 26, is alleged to have posted derogatory comments about the national team on the VKontakte website, a popular social network in Russia - although the comments have now been deleted.

"We can confirm that Ekaterina Glazyrina really has been suspended from work with the Russian national team for incorrect statements in relation to the Olympic team," the Russian Biathlon Union said in a statement.

"As a result of this, Glazyrina will not take part in the remaining three stages of the World Cup this season."

Glazyrina's only participation in Sochi 2014 had been in the 15km individual event - in which she placed 61st.

16:43 So the men's slalom about to get underway with speed-skating and ice hockey to follow. With everything being a bit quieter here, it provides an opportunity to catch up with some reaction over recent days...

Pyeongchang 2018 press briefing

16:31 Final questions are on cost and legacy, before closing remarks from President Kim. "Tomorrow is the moment when Pyeongchang 2018 essentially begins," he says. "We will do everything in our power to ensure the best Games."

16:25 Question on participation of NHL ice hockey players at Pyeongchang 2018. President Kim says because no decision has been made, we are not in a position to comment, before adding that ice hockey is an important part of the Olympic programme.

He adds "NHL players participation has make a great contribution to the Games - so we sincerely hope that they do come."

16:20 On the vision of Pyeongchang? Asia has a huge opportunity for growth in winter sport and Pyeongchang 2018 will help this. It will be the most compact Games in history, it was added. It will be athlete orientated but will also encompass culture, environment and peace.

"It will allow the world to see a truly developed South Korea - this is our vision. There are many tourist attraction nearby and the Seoul metropolitan area will be just one hour away via the new high-speed rail line. So people will see culture and history of South Korea. We will make the Games a meaningful and pleasant memory."

16:17 What can Pyeongchang 2018 do to embrace North Korea? "There are some winter sports facilities in North Korea and the interest in winter sports is growing there. I hope this will grow further and North Korean athletes will be able to come to the Games. If that is realised, it will be a very good thing."

16:13 A brief look forward to the Pyeonchang 2018 section of tomorrow's Closing Ceremony and then we are onto questions. Security and marketing are the first issues brought up.

President Kim highlights how, while South Korea is one of the safest countries in the world, security is a priority and discussion which include the Prime Minister have already begun. A strong focus on marketing is also outlined - in various different areas.

16:09 First up is an opening address by President Kim Jin-sun and then the customary video updating us on progress - with the theme "new horizons" to the fore. 

16:02 Next up is the men's slalom followed by speed skating team pursuit action but we are focusing on - yet another - press conference. 

This is an important one though - the Pyeongchang 2018 Organising Committee.

Three more gold medals have been won over the last hour in Sochi

Vic Wild celebrates his second goal of the Games in slalom snowboarding ©AFP/Getty ImagesVic Wild celebrates his second goal of the Games in slalom snowboarding ©AFP/Getty ImagesJulia Dujmovits celebrates gold in the parallel slalom for Austria ©AFP/Getty ImagesJulia Dujmovits celebrates gold in the parallel slalom for Austria
©AFP/Getty Images

Marit Bjoergen win her sixth Olympic gold medal in a Norwegian clean sweep ©Getty ImagesMarit Bjoergen win her sixth Olympic gold medal in a Norwegian clean sweep
©Getty Images

Sochi 2014 gold medal15:34 Vic Wild has taken his second gold medal of Sochi 2014. The Russian just about holds off Zan Kosir of Slovenia - while there is another medal for Austria courtesy of Benjamin Karl's bronze. 

Sochi 2014 gold medal15:28 Despite coming from a long way behind, a superb performance by Julia Dujmovits to win the women's parallel slalom ahead of Amke Karstens of Germany.

The bronze medal goes to another German in the shape of Amelie Kober.

Ukrainian cross country skier fails drugs test in third case of Sochi 2014

15:22 The news is a blow for Ukraine following their historic gold medal yesterday in the women's biathlon relay. It also marks the third positive test of Sochi 2014 after it emerged yesterday that German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and Italian bobsleigher William Frullani each failed a test for methylhexanamine. 

15:16 Trimetazidine is a stimulant which has been included on the forbidden substances' list since January 1 this year when it was added  to reflect emerging patterns of drug use.

15:13 Lisogar, 30-years-old and from Chernihiv in Northern Ukraine also competed at the Turin 2006 Games where her best result with 16th in the team sprint classic event.

15:08 Maryna Lisogar competed in the 10km classical race as well as the qualification of the sprint event at Sochi 2014 and finished in 58th position on each occasion.

15:04 In a statement posted on the Ukraine National Olympic Committee website, it is explained how the NOC has been informed by the IOC Disciplinary Commission that cross country skier Maryna Lisogor tested positive for the substance trimetazidine.

It added: Lisogor gave her explanation at the Disciplinary Commission meeting that she took the drug product 'Preductal' not knowing that it consists the forbidden ingredient, thus unintentionally breaking the IOC anti-doping rules.

United States press conference plus cross country and snowboard medal action

Sochi 2014 gold medal14:42 A burst from Marit Bjoergen as they enter the finishing section and she holds on to win her sixth Olympic gold medal!

The result always seemed inevitable and Therese Johaug finishes 2.6 seconds behind - while Kristin Stoermer Steira took the bronze after finishing 23.6 seconds back.

A thrilling finish is coming up in the cross country. It will either be Norway or Norway but there is nothing between Bjoergen and Johaug.

14:38 Question about whether the US are declining in traditional Winter Olympic sports. Alan Ashley from USOC accepts there has been some "strategic diversification" to target medals - but it is made harder due to the growth of winter sports into sso many new countries.

14:36 No change in the cross country. The three Norwegians still locked together with the rest of the field a minute behind. Only two kilometres to go.

14:31 The most medals the US team has ever won outside North America so we are very happy, is the response to the question of whether the team had endured a disappointing Games.

14:27 The gap is approaching one minute now between the Norwegians and the rest of the field in the women's cross country. Coraline Hugue of France is leading the pack in fourth place but the medals are disappearing ever further into the distance.

Still less than a second separates the three leaders. 

14:25 We think there should be more open-mindedness with new sports in the Summer Olympics, says Scott Blackmun. Skateboarding for example, while we are still advocating the return of women's softball.

This follows talk of the addition of new winter events such as big air. 

14:24 A series of questions on US disappointments in skating events. "We were not the only nation to be smoked by the Netherlands in speed-skating" it is said before the team selection is defended.

14:21 Norway are heading for a 1-2-3 in the cross country at the moment. There is something of a reminiscence of the Kenyans and Ethiopians in cross country running here as Marit Bjoergen leads compatriots Kristin Stoermer Steira and Therese Johaug.

There is a gap of 50 seconds to the next pack with 20km gone in the 30km race. 

14:20 On future bids, Blackmun adds: "We are evaluating now, talking to cities, and if we decide that 2024 is not appropriate we will shift our analysis to whether 2026 is. But we are not in a 2024 versus 2026 debate at the moment."

14:18 A possible 2026 Winter Olympic bid is being talked about as the questions get underway. "Atlanta could host the Winter Olympics now," USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun jokes.

14:10 USOC chairman Larry Probst begins his words by praising Dmitry Chernyshenko and the Organising Committee for a successful Games. But, very interesting, he continues by particularly pointing out and praising the "Involvement, accessibility and engagement" of President Putin.

"He has spent time with the membership of the IOC, NOCs, and International Federations, and also spent half an hour at USA House," Probst explains. "He has owned the Games and I would compliment him and his team as well."

14:07 Speaking of flagbearers we can also announce that Lizzie Yarnold will carry the British flag at the Closing Ceremony tomorrow. An unsurprising decision I suppose due t the fact that she has won Britain's only gold medal of the far.

14:05 US flagbearer and ice hockey silver medal winner Julie Chu opens proceeding by praising the venues, atmosphere and volunteers - which all contributed to a "spectacular experience" at Sochi 2014.

13:56 As the cross-country continues, we are going to also report on the latest press briefing this afternoon, as the United States hold a conferences - with both the chairman and chief executive of the United States Olympic Committee among the speakers.

13:51: Gaps are beginning to appear at the front of th race now and there is a group of three in the lead - and they are all Norweigans including Marit Bjoergen.

13:42 There is something beautiful about the sight of a mass start cross-country event.

The cross country skers in the early stages of the 30km mass start ©Getty ImagesThe cross country skers in the early stages of the 30km mass start ©Getty Images

13:34 Norway's Marit Bjoergen is chasing her 10th Olympic and a sixth golden one...She is also defending champion and holds two world titles in this event. 

13:30 The knock out rounds in the snowboarding have started and the women's 30km mass start cross-country is also underway to add some sparkle to what, so far, has been a relatively laid back Saturday afternoon in Sochi.

Which were your favourite Winter Olympic Mascots?

13:25 insidethegames has a  new poll. From a choice of seven stretching back to Albertville 1992, which were your favourite Winter Olympic Mascots? 

Click here to cast your vote.

13:16 A couple more photos from the Olympic Park over the last couple of day, courtesy of Philip Barker. 

The Olympic Flame reflected in the Ice Dome ©Philip BarkerThe Olympic Flame reflected in the Ice Dome ©Philip Barker

Children trying to emulate the performers in the Olympic Park ©Philip BarkerChildren trying to emulate the performers in the Olympic Park ©Philip Barker

Sotnikova defends golden credentials

13:03 Following the petition criticising the judging in Thursday night's figure skating competition, which we reported on yesterday, Russia's Adelina Sotnikova has insisted she was a worthy gold medallist and deserved a better score than South Korean rival Yuna Kim.

"I skated very well and my technical score is higher than Yuna's," Sotnikova said. "My jumps were more complicated, especially in the second part of the cascade, rotations for the fourth level. That means I was better in technique. I skated very well."

We have received plenty of messages and emails this morning disagreeing with her words, however, as plenty of people criticise, and suspect, the decisions of the judges.

insidethegames Olympic historian Philip Barker visits Kazakhstan House

philip barker12:53 Almaty's bidding team for 2022 Olympics very welcoming. Provided tea with milk. They had seen the Borat film but were equally fascinated by the hit BBC series "Little Britain."

An Almaty 2022 presentation in Kazakhstan House ©Philip BarkerAn Almaty 2022 presentation in Kazakhstan House ©Philip Barker

Figure skating bronze medallist Denis Ten in Kazakhstan House ©Philip BarkerFigure skating bronze medallist Denis Ten in Kazakhstan House ©Philip Barker

12:40 We have half an hour or so of inaction until the knock-out rounds begin this afternoon and then 15 minutes after that the women's 30km mass start cross country event gets underway.

12:28 After leading the way in the qualification run, Vic Wild topped  the standings again in the elimination run, and will be chasing more medals later this afternoon when the parallel slalom competition concludes...

Vic Wild begins his pursuit for a second gold medal this morning ©Getty ImagesVic Wild begins his pursuit for a second gold medal this morning ©Getty Images

From Tolstoy to Pushkin Hall on press conference patrol...

11:55 Right - we are going to need a little break after that press conference double header. But lots of interesting stuff there...and we will update you on all those issues, as well as the sport, this afternoon. 

11:48  Sochi 2014 spokeswomen Alexandra Kosterina begins to wrap things up. "Do you have anything to add," she asks Adams. "Yes", he replies and promptly produces a huge bunch of flowers for her to mark their 15 press briefings together. "I haven't got anything for you yet," Kosterina adds before seeming just a touch flustered when giving out the daily spectator statistics.

11:46 Has taken a long time for the first doping question. "Of course it is disappointing," says Adams - but shows our determination to catch cheats." We have only confirmed one test - German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle - so can only talk about that.

11:44 Kozak asked to clarify "ice of scepticism" quote earlier on. Due to positive reactions of athletes and spectators, he says.

11:41 Kozak asked if there are any security breaches which have happened which have not become widely known? Unsurprisingly, he doesn't really answer this but repeats views given before about the danger of international terrorism - but that appropriate and successful measures have been taken.

11:39 IOC spokesman Mark Adams had had an easier ride than normal so far this morning. But he has just been asked about the skating judging controversy. A matter for the skating union he says - but I understand that no action will be taken to what is essentially a protest letter. He also refers people to read the explanation of the judging rules which has now been circulated. See our article yesterday here.

11:38 "I would not have changed anything about the Games" says Kozak. 

11:34 Question on the cost of the Games - 50 billion roubles - and the extent of corruption and embezzlement? Kozak repeats view that the real cost is about 3.5 million dollars and that most of the expense was non-sport specific. On corruption, he says that no major events have been found.

He asks for specific facts and information and, if so, investigations will be carried out and, if true, the culprits will be punished. But this is just speculation at the moment, he says.

11:31 The Olympic Games has boosted tourism hugely in this region and we have a great future to look forward to, says Kozak when asked about the local tourism legacy.

11:29 A question to Chernyshenko now on his eight year journey with Sochi 2014 and whether it had panned out as expected? "I could not have expected it to have been as successful as it has," is the reply.

11:25 First question is on security and protesters. No surprises there then. Kozak says the security work was stellar, as they always thought it would be. The training of security and police officers is another great legacy project.

He then guarantees there will be no retribution against those, like members of Pussy Riot, who have protested during the Games - because the Russian constitution forbids it.

11:21 Next to speak is Chernyshenko who highlights the great attention on the Games both from Russian and global populations. We completely sold out and enjoyed full stadiums, he says.

11:12 The Games has broken the "ice of scepticism" about Russia, says Kozak. "It has allowed people to sneak a peak inside our country." He continues by highlighting a huge range of other ways by which the Games has benefited Sochi and Russia - in a material sense but also in new values regarding attitudes towards the environment and those with disabilities.

11:09 It should be a good one today - with Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak, Sochi 2014 chief Dmitry Chernyshenko and IOC executive director Gilbert Felli in attendance. 

11:05 The German press conference has finished but - there is no rest for the wicked - and it is a quick hop across the corridor in the Main Press Centre from the Tolstoy to the Pushkin Hall for the daily IOC and Sochi 2014 press briefing...

At least we have a video to provide a momentary pause in thought for this one...

10:56 We seem to have had a "last question" time after time for the last 20 minutes or so - the issue of food additives is really being searched now.  But the same answers are being given. 

10;52 As the press conference continues - the first of several today, I might add - just to wrap up the results of the elimination round of the two snowboarding events. Marion Kreiner of Austria was quickest in the women's event while Vic Wild of Russia started well in pursuit of a second gold medal in the men's event, and takes the lead.

10;49 interesting question here on whether any boycotting measures will be taken during the Closing Ceremony in response to events in Ukraine. No because we don't believe that boycotts are appropriate, is the reply. But we are following events in Ukraine.

10:47 Will any other biathletes test positive? This case was a great shock wand was due to an athlete going against recommendations by taking food additives and being caught out. 

10:45 It was totally legal to take the food substances and she had medical reasons for doing so, She did not realise certain materials were in the substances. - and that is her responsibility for not realising. 

10:41 Question have now returned to how Germany will improve up to Pyeongchang 2018? Gist of the answer is that there is not much time and  there are a lot of challenges to achieve - but that they will work very hard to achieve this progress. 

10:34 Food additives do not always contain prohibited substances - but is very difficult to control what is in them. Lists should always been consulted but some are not on the lists.

10:32 no food additives are given to athletes. Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle took additives of her personal accord but we cannot comment on what level of medical input she had.

10:30 No other questions related to anti-doping control with German athletes, it is insisted.

10:27 Does the anti-doping system need to be changed? We should look closer into reforming the system and should take appropriate measures.

10:26 Conversations with prosecutors office are going on at the moment, Vesper says. "We expect a result soon."

10:21 We should focus on the sports we can win medals in but we also need to focus on the new sports - like half-pipe. It is not just about money and we should not focus on results only, continues Hormann.

10:13 A little bit of confusion coming through the translation system at the German press conference - but I believe the German flag-bearer at the Closing Ceremony will be double luge champion Felix Loch. Will bring you confirmation of that though. 

Condition of injured Russian skier Komissarova improving

10:11 As the German press briefing continues on similar lines with a second speech by Alfons Hormann -  we have still not got onto questions yet -  a break to bring you some other positive news here in Sochi.

Russian freestyle skier Maria Komissarova is on the road to recovery after breaking her back during a training accident last week, Russian officials have announced.

"The patient's condition is stable and satisfactory," the Russian Freestyle Federation said in a statement, adding that German doctors "have ascertained a certain positive dynamic in Maria Komissarova's condition."

German press briefing 

10:02 All legal, medical and physical aspects of yesterday's doping scandal will be discussed, it is added. "It is absolutely vital that all the necessary aspects and conclusions of this are considered."

09:57 The conclusion of Schwank's lenghy review is summarised by Chef de Mission Michael Vesper who says "we did not reach our target." Given the doping scandal he adds that the Games "have not been a great success for us."

"We hoped for a lot and worked a lot with other sports federations - and our strategy was correct and the goals set were correct and not unrealistic," he adds. Too many athletes, 23, in positions fourth to eighth.

09:49 The next speaker is DOSB competitive sports director Bernhard Schwank - who is providing a thorough and at times quite critical review of German sporting performances at the Games.

09:45 He suggests that the Games could be made a few days longer - but describes how Sochi 2014 has overall been a very positive experience which has set a new standard for the Olympics. 

09:40 He speaks in huge detail about the Sochi 2014 legacy - including a warning of environmental damage - and also looks forward to future sporting events in Russia as well as the next Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. He continues by explaining that the Olympics is a sporting event but does include social and political elements and that they have had negotiations with political, environmental and gay rights groups. 

Quite heavy stuff, some of this by Hormann, especially this early in the morning.

09:33 Among those speaking this morning is the head of the German Olympic Sports Confederation Alfons Hormann (DOSB) He begins by expressing a desire for all aspects of Germany's performances at the Games to be discussed before launching into praise for the venues and conditions provided by Sochi 2014.

What is to come today? 

09:23 It is with the fallout from that where we shall start our coverage today with a further press conference with the German team in a few moments time.

09:18 A lot happened off the pitch yesterday - and by pitch I mean snow and ice - in terms of the first two positive drugs tests of Sochi 2014 - with German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and Italian bobsleigher William Frullani each failing a test for methylhexanamine. Our latest report can be read here.

09:14 A lot more to come today - two gold medals on offer each in snowboarding and speed-skating as well as one in biathlon and cross country. It is men's slalom day in Alpine skiing and the beginning of the four man bobsleigh competition.

No medals action until this afternoon's women's 30km mass start cross country but action begin for the day very soon with the elimination runs of the women's and men's parallel slalom snowboarding competitions.

09:10 Most poignantly of all however we had a gold medal for Ukraine in biathlon in yet another example of sporting success coming for a nation trapped in the midst of unrest and turmoil. 

Ukraine's biathlon team celebrate their historic and symbolic gold medal ©AFP/Getty ImagesUkraine's biathlon relay team celebrate their historic and symbolic gold medal
©AFP/Getty Images

09:07 On another pulsating day yesterday - we saw the controversy of judging criticism and more disqualifications on the short track, the ecstasy of more home gold medals for Russia and the inevitability of more Canadian success on the curling rink and ice hockey arena. 

09:04 There is a touch of sadness in the air as the Games enters its final weekend - but the good news is we still have two more days of action left and plenty more opportunities for excitement, drama and sport of the very highest calibre.

09:00 Good morning and welcome to the penultimate day of Sochi 2014