For most of his career, Timofey Lapshin played for the Russian national team, at the end of his career he was disqualified for violating anti-doping rules, but he managed to return and crushed almost all world biathlon stars at the World Cup. How is this possible?
In Russia, Lapshin was a rising star
Lapshin brilliantly entered the World Cup in 2011. He managed to get into the top 25 in the very first race, and literally a week after his debut he was on the podium of the most prestigious competition in biathlon. Timofey finished third in the sprint race on the Hochfilzen stage. After the New Year holidays, a native of Krasnoyarsk again took second place in the sprint, but in Finnish Kontiolahti.
Then a new big star seemed to be growing in Russian biathlon. Lapshin was fast, but not always enough for the finishing lap. However, I would like to believe that this is a solvable problem. The first half of the 2014/15 season marked a new peak for Timofey. He won two gold medals in the relay as part of the Russian team at the World Cup, and also won a personal bronze medal in the sprint at Oberhof.
However, instead of a breakthrough towards the top, it was followed by a long decline. Lapshin lost his place at the base of the Russian national team and, in search of happiness, decided to move to South Korea, which at that time was actively looking for reinforcements in other countries. Ekaterina Avvakumova, along with Lapshin, joined the South Korean team, and there were already two more ex-Russians – Alexander Starodubets and Anna Bulygina.
Dope and great comeback
The passage of Lapshin was seen as the brightest. Timofey showed himself well in the home Olympics for South Korea in Pyeongchang. There, he regularly finished in the top 20, with his worst result being 25th. From time to time, the former Russian shone at the World Cup, although he did not make it to the podium as part of the new team.
In 2021, her biathlon career seemed to be coming to an end. This was because he was disqualified for violating the anti-doping rules, and this violation was dated 2013, when Timofey competed in the Izhevsk Rifle. This is how the Russian Cup can ruin the career of a person who has not competed in local competitions for a long time.
Still, Lapshin did not despair, he was honestly disqualified and returned to South Korea. There, they did not put obstacles in front of him, knowing very well that they did not have a stronger biathlete. And Timofey, who started this season at the IBU Cup, gave a great performance at the World Cup in Annecy. The ex-Russian finished fifth and, in theory, could have competed for the podium if not for the slowdown in pace on the final lap.
But even so, it’s just crazy. Lapshin went to the flower ceremony where people like Johannes Beh and Sturla Legrade were waiting for him. What can I say if Timofey is ahead of Quentin Fillon-Maillet, Sebastian Samuelsson and other world biathlon stars. Russia is not yet at the Biathlon World Cup, but our guys still remind themselves and heat up at the biggest international competitions.
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