Aleksander Bolshunov, the world’s top-ranked cross-country skier, was disqualified Sunday after pole-whipping his Finnish opponent on the finishing straight, then body-slamming the skier after they crossed the finish line of a World Cup relay.
Russian Bolshunov was slightly behind but bearing down on Finland’s Joni Mäki going into the final straight of the 4×7.5km relay in Lahti, Finland.
The two athletes’ skis made contact knocking the Russian off-balance. He reacted by lashing out with his ski-pole to strike his opponent. Twice.
As Bolshunov crossed the line, he purposely collided with Mäki, knocking him off his feet.
Bolshunov was disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct upon video review.
Bolshunov won last season’s World Cup overall title and leads this season’s standings with seven individual victories. He earned four medals at both the 2018 Olympics and the 2019 World Championships, writes NBC Sports.