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Russian athlete expelled after criticizing team

Ekaterina Glazyrina of Russia crosses the finish line during the women's 15 km individual event at the Biathlon World Cup in Ostersund Novem
Ekaterina Glazyrina of Russia crosses the finish line during the women's 15 km individual event at the Biathlon World Cup in Ostersund Novem

By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Russian biathlete Ekaterina Glazyrina has been expelled from the Olympics and the rest of the World Cup season following critical comments she made about her team on social media, the Russian biathlon union said on Saturday.

"She has been excluded from the Russian team due to inappropriate words about the Russian Olympic biathlon team and she will not take part in three World Cup races," Russian biathlon union spokeswoman Maria Baidina said.

The 26-year-old biathlete came 61st in the 15km individual race, her only event in the Sochi Games. She was not part of the Russian team that won silver in Friday's women's relay.

Local media reported that Glazyrina made the comments on her personal site of www.Vkontakte.ru, a Russian facebook-like social network, but there were no negatives comments about her team on her site on Saturday.

Instead, the last entry on her page, dated Saturday, read:

"If someone understood incorrectly, excuse me. I didn't want to offend anybody. Today I leave the national team."

Some reports suggested she made the comments about the team's German coach Wolfgang Pichler and that they had been deleted.

Earlier this week told Russian magazine Skisport's website: "It is absolutely clear that nothing has gone right for me this season, which is mainly due to my own mistakes.

"Of course my main mistake was to choose the wrong group and the wrong coach. I did not have a great dialogue with Pichler from day one and therefore we did not get the results we wanted. I regret training with Pichler very much."

(Editing by Mitch Phillips)

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