Doping issue in Russia: SBK event threatens the end of the Superbike World Cup

A vacant place in the 2021 MotoGP World Championship calendar. The Igora Drive Circuit near Saint Petersburg would have had the best chance had it not been for the recent sanctions against Russia.

The agenda for the 2021 Superbike World Championship includes 13 events in ten countries, taking into account the official measures to contain the spread of the lung disease Covid-19, eleven of which have been determined with a date and place, starting from last weekend in April in the city of Essen.

Phillip Island in South Australia moves from the traditional start in late February to the end of the calendar. If all three outdoor races could be held, the Australian event would be logistically placed either between Argentina and Indonesia, or as a final precedent.

So far, no date or venue has been set for an event. This place was intended for Oschersleben and he should have moved there at the beginning of August. But since it is not expected in Germany that major events involving several thousand spectators will be allowed again by then, officials at Motorsport Circuit pulled the plug as a precaution due to “lack of security planning”.

When the Spanish promoter realized our role that they had to plan without Oschersleben, negotiations were intensified with the new Igora Drive in Russia.

But since the doping scandal in Russia, nothing is what it was before. For years, the Russian state has systematically directed, covered, and covered up sports fraud, as did the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Meanwhile, all procedures in this regard have been completed, according to a ruling by the International Court of Justice (CAS) in mid-December, Russian athletes are not allowed to start under the Russian flag until December 16, 2022, but only as neutral athletes, provided they are not involved in the governmental doping case. Last. This applies to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games and the World Sports Championships that have fallen on the WADA symbol, as well as major sporting events.

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All FIM tournaments are subject to WADA’s anti-doping requirements; According to the current ruling, there may be no MotoGP races in Russia until the end of 2022. This applies to track, motocross and possibly the MotoGP and Superbike World Championships.

Formula 1 racing in Sochi and 2021 European Football Championship matches in Saint Petersburg are expressly excluded from the ban.

The wording of the WADA rule is unambiguous. But with motorsport generally not affected by the doping scandal, FIFA is hoping to be able to host World Championship races in Russia.

The first World Cup event in 2021 will be the Ice Speedway GP in Togliatti in mid-January. “We are waiting for answers,” Armando Castagna, the world’s highest-ranking train sports official, told SPEEDWEEK.com. “We are dealing with it and doing everything we can to ensure that the event can happen.”

Dorna also explains whether an exception can be made for a potential World Superbike Championship event like Formula 1. More recently, the World Series Close-Up Championship was held in Russia in 2013 at the Moscow Racetrack.

Igora Drive is located about 54 km north of St. Petersburg. Construction began in 2016 and was completed in September 2019. The grand opening took place only one month later. According to Business Petersburg, the racetrack cost about 11 billion rubles (about 120 million euros).

The new motorsports complex is directly adjacent to a large holiday resort and includes, among others, a motocross track, a rallycross track, an SUV terrain park, a driver safety training center and a kart track. The 4,086 km race track was designed by well-known track designer Hermann Tilke and has eight left and six right turns.

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The department recently received an FIA First Class rating, a requirement for Formula 1. As the first international racing event, DTM was supposed to stop there from 2020, but the spread of Corona has delayed those plans.

In the MotoGP calendar 2021, Igora Drive is listed as a backup roadway and could replace Texas or Argentina.

If an SBK event is not feasible in Russia, then new roads in the Middle East, Bahrain, Kuwait or Saudi Arabia have the best chances.

World Superbike Championship Calendar 2021:

23-25 ​​April Assen / Netherlands
07.-09. My Estoril / Portugal
21. -23. May Aragon / Spanish
11. – 13. Johnny Misano / Italy
02-04 July Donington Park / Great Britain
03. – 05. Sep. Magny Cor / France
17. – 19. September Barcelona / Spain
24. – 26. September Jerez / Spain
01. – 03. October Portimao / Portugal
October 15-17 San Juan / Argentina
12. – 14. November, Lombok / Indonesia
Still open Phillip Island / Australia
It is still open

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