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Russia wins Sochi Games

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

SOCHI, Russia - Sochi's $US50 billion ($A55.6 billion) Olympics closed on Sunday night with Russia hailing a Games closely wrapped up in the image of President Vladimir Putin and the country seizing first place in the medals table.

Russia guaranteed top spot after a clean sweep of the men's 50km cross country race thanks to Alexander Legkov, Maxim Vylegzhanin and Ilia Chernousov.

The hosts then hammered home their supremacy when Alexander Zubkov claimed his second gold in Sochi by leading the four-man bobsleigh team to victory.

With just the ice hockey final to be decided, Russia has 13 golds and a total of 33 medals, topping the table ahead of Norway.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach added to Russia's feel-good factor by describing the 2014 Games as "great", saying the response from the athletes was "overwhelmingly positive".

"These were excellent Games that may lead to the reversal of some criticism" of the Russian organisers that preceded the Olympics, Bach added at a news conference.

But in a reality check before the closing ceremony, Games officials revealed that a fifth competitor had failed a drugs test.

Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Duerr, who had been due to take part in the men's 50km on Sunday, tested positive for blood booster EPO in a pre-competition test in Austria on February 16, organisers said.

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