In a letter sent to the Russian Biathlon Union’s website, Irina Starykh announced her decision to leave the Olympic team.
Starykh, along with two other athletes, recently failed a doping test.
Although she believes a test of her “B” sample could exonerate her, Starykh said she didn’t feel comfortable being a member of the Russian Olympic team with the cloud of controversy hanging over her head:
I got into a difficult situation and I think it is necessary to inform you about my decision to leave the team’s disposition for an indefinite period of time. I received a notification from the IBU, which says, that one of my probes gave a positive result. This news was highly unexpected for me. Believe me, I am truly sorry, that this story is linked to my name.
I immediately decided to go for an opening of the B probe, as I consider everything what had happened to me as a misunderstanding. However, until the end of all proceedings, I consider it to be unacceptable to stay with the team. I well know, that in the eyes of the public I will through a shadow on the team as long as there are no results of the B probe opening. I have neither right nor desire to set up the girls and the entire team. I ask to exclude me from the national team until the finish of investigation and inform on my behalf all organizations required. I wish good luck to our team (biathlonrus.com)!
The Sochi Olympics begin on February 7.