| Event type

50 kilometres (Mass Start, Freestyle), Men

Date23 February 2014 — 11:00
LocationKompleks Dlya Sorevnovaniy Po Lyzhnym Gonkam i Biatlonu Laura, Mountain Cluster, Krasnaya Polyana
Participants64 from 26 countries
DetailsCourse Length: 49,735 m
Height Differential: 90 m
Intermediate 1: 12.5 km
Intermediate 2: 25.0 km
Intermediate 3: 38.0 km
Maximum Climb: 56 m
Total Climbing: 1,790 m

In the last and longest cross-country race, the 50 km freestyle mass start, the leading group comprised over half the field at the mid-point. Just after the 30 km point Finland’s Matti Heikkinen broke away gaining a lead of over 20 seconds. However, a chasing pack of four closed the gap and brought with them most of the field, catching Heikkinen within five kilometers. As the field of about 60 skiers started the final 5 km lap, the Swede Anders Södergren was in the lead. With just two kilometers to go his compatriot Daniel Richardsson was in front, but no one managed to gain a decisive lead. Double gold medalist Dario Cologna from Switzerland, who could be seen close to the vanguard throughout the race, was the unlucky fellow on the day, breaking his ski while in fourth place with less than two kilometers to go. The race was effectively decided on the last climb, where the Russians showed their strength. A four-man group of three Russians, Aleksandr Legkov, Maksim Vylegzhanin and Ilya Chernousov, and Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby entered the stadium clear of the field. With the end almost in sight Legkov overtook Vylegzhanin to move into the pole position and held it to the finish. In a close sprint to the line Vylegzhanin just held on for the silver medal ahead of compatriot Chernousov in a photo finish. Sundby missed out on a medal, finishing just one second behind the winner.

It was the first time in 78 years that athletes from one country achieved a clean sweep in this event; the last time was by Sweden at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Legkov had turned down the opportunity to carry the Russian flag at the Opening Ceremony because he thought it would be bad for him to leave altitude.

In May 2016 WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) commissioned a report, the McLaren Report, to look into allegations of systematic Russian doping and a cover-up to avoid positives at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The report was released in two parts, in July and December 2016, and confirmed the allegations. In 2017 the IOC formed a commission to investigate this, headed by IOC Member Denis Oswald, and usually referred to as the Oswald Commission. In late October 2017 the Oswald Commission began to release its findings.

One of the first findings was to implicate Aleksandr Legkov, the gold medalist in this event. Legkov was disqualified and his medal effectively removed. He immediately appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Eight days later, the silver medalist, Maksim Vylegzhanin, was also disqualified. About 10 days before the PyeongChang Winter Olympics began, the CAS reached a decision and Legkov and Vylegzhanin were exonerated and their medals were restored.

In the case of Legkov, the IOC actually appealed the decision of the CAS to the Swiss Federal Tribunal, which upheld the decision of the CAS, which meant that Legkov was exonerated and his gold medal status restored.

13Aleksandr LegkovRUS1-46:55.2Gold1
27Maksim VylegzhaninRUS1-46:55.9Silver2
38Ilya ChernousovRUS1-46:56.0Bronze
41Martin Johnsrud SundbyNOR1-46:56.2
540Siarhei DalidovichBLR1-47:09.5
610Robin DuvillardFRA1-47:10.1
721Anders SödergrenSWE1-47:13.0
812Daniel RickardssonSWE1-47:19.6
919Johan OlssonSWE1-47:27.3
1042Iivo NiskanenFIN1-47:27.5
1120Roland ClaraITA1-47:28.6
1227Curdin PerlSUI1-47:31.3
1330Ivan Perrillat BoiteuxFRA1-47:31.7
1443Martin BajčičákSVK1-47:34.4
1513Matti HeikkinenFIN1-47:35.0
1649David HoferITA1-47:35.7
1729Mikhail SiamionauBLR1-47:36.0
185Petter NorthugNOR1-47:39.7
194Alex HarveyCAN1-47:40.9
2014Ivan BabikovCAN1-47:41.8
2117Tord Asle GjerdalenNOR1-47:43.5
2236Remo FischerSUI1-47:44.2
2325Lari LehtonenFIN1-47:48.7
2445Bernhard TritscherAUT1-47:51.7
2533Francesco De FabianiITA1-47:51.8
2622Noah HoffmanUSA1-48:04.3
2718Dario ColognaSUI1-48:21.6
2838Graeme KillickCAN1-48:22.4
2928Petr NovákCZE1-48:41.0
3035Toni LiversSUI1-48:49.9
3116Lukáš BauerCZE1-48:51.3
322Chris JespersenNOR1-49:21.3
3350Imanol RojoESP1-49:21.9
3448Mark StarostinKAZ1-49:34.1
3511Jean-Marc GaillardFRA1-49:49.7
3615Thomas BingGER1-49:56.1
3726Martin JakšCZE1-50:00.5
3823Konstantin GlavatskikhRUS1-50:33.4
3924Axel TeichmannGER1-51:03.4
4062Arnd PeifferGER1-51:31.5
4160Andrey GridinBUL1-51:41.7
4256Erik LesserGER1-51:55.8
439Maurice ManificatFRA1-52:01.6
4441Aivar RehemaaEST1-52:22.1
4561Martin MøllerDEN1-52:32.7
4652Aliaksei IvanouBLR1-52:52.9
4751Javier GutiérrezESP1-53:02.5
4854Yerdos AkhmadiyevKAZ1-53:07.4
4953Karel TammjärvEST1-53:23.0
5055Milanko PetrovićSRB1-53:35.1
5139Brian GreggUSA1-55:02.3
5232Jiří MagálCZE1-56:28.7
5344Andrew MusgraveGBR1-57:08.9
5447Sergey CherepanovKAZ1-57:24.2
5534Yevgeny VelichkoKAZ1-58:10.6
5646Jesse CockneyCAN1-59:16.6
5731Kris FreemanUSA1-59:46.7
5858Edi DadićCRO2-02:35.5
5963Arvis LiepiņšLAT2-04:45.6
6064Xu WenlongCHN2-08:02.0
DNF37Veselin TsinzovBUL
DNF66Darko DamjanovskiMKD
DNF65Mladen PlakalovićBIH
AC59Martti JylhäFIN
DNS57Torin KoosUSA