Travel Passengers dine in the restaurant car of the Red Arrow to St Petersburg

For 150 years the railway line between Moscow and St Petersburg ran as straight as an arrow for 403 miles. Straight, but for one big bend near Novgorod. The story goes that Tsar Nicholas was so fed up of officials dithering over the route that he plonked a ruler on the map and drew a straight line between the two cities, accidentally drawing around his finger in the process. Too terrified to point out his error, the builders constructed the railway with the Tsar's bump in place.

Kremlin ally Sergei Sobyanin won a Moscow mayoral election two exit polls showed

Moscow mayoral election: Polls show victory for Putin ally Sergei Sobyanin but close result for Alexei Navalny could energise opposition

Kremlin ally Sergei Sobyanin won a Moscow mayoral election on Sunday, two exit polls showed, but opposition leader Alexei Navalny did much better than expected and challenged the count.

Jim Armitage: Belarus has bitten off more than it can chew by reeling in this big fish

Global Outlook In most countries, you get arrested for operating a cartel. In Belarus, it seems, the opposite is the case. On Monday, the chief executive of Russia's fertiliser giant Uralkali, travelling to Minsk at the invitation of the prime minister, arrived only to find himself getting arrested at the airport. His detention came just weeks after he had pulled his company out of the potassium cartel it has operated with Belarus. A cartel that has artificially kept up prices of crop-boosting fertilisers for farmers the world over.

Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt delighted with latest win in Diamond League

Jamaican powered through after slow start

Edward Snowden (AFP/Getty)

Edward Snowden 'contacted' Russians two days before arrival in Moscow

Russian newspaper reports Snowden discussed his flight plans with consulate in Hong Kong prior to departure, despite Putin claims his arrival was 'complete surprise'

BBC Sports presenter Gabby Logan

Russia’s anti-gay laws unsettled me, says Gabby Logan

Gabby Logan has spoken of her personal discomfort at presenting this month’s World Athletics Championships in Russia amid the furore over the country’s homophobic laws.

Mo Farah celebrates his 5,000m triumph in Moscow on Friday night, his second gold of the World Championships

Mo Farah: From tough of the track to marathon man

After his latest golden double, the distance runner relishes the idea of tackling 26.2 miles in London

Greg Rutherford in action in Moscow

World Championships: Chris Tomlinson fury after Greg Rutherford falls short in Moscow

Shunned long-jump rival erupts on Twitter as Olympic champion fails to reach final

The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 14 August 2013

Murray revelling in winning feeling

Christine Ohuruogu powers away from Natasha Hastings in the 400m semi-final

World Championships: Perri Shakes-Drayton sprints away from Olympic woes

It is two decades since Sally Gunnell glided over 10 hurdles in Stuttgart to be crowned world champion with a then world record.

The sporting week ahead (11/08/13)

Today

Hannah on her way to finishing fourth in Rome earlier this month

Hannah England: My goal is to make the Moscow final – and absolutely no excuses

Keeping track: I'm in far better shape than before London 2012

Paula Radcliffe speaks out on doping in Moscow

Paula Radcliffe: Life bans needed for dope cheats

There has been no more strident anti-drug campaigner in sport than Paula Radcliffe. At the track-and-field World Championships in Edmonton back in 2001 the future marathon world-record holder held up a home-made banner proclaiming "EPO Cheats Out", protesting at the presence in the 5,000 metres final of the Russian Olga Yegorova, who had tested positive for the blood-boosting hormone erythropoietin but escaped a ban on a technicality.

Jessica Ennis-Hill has been plagued by an Achilles injury

Jessica Ennis-Hill out for 15 weeks to save career

Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill is expected to be out of action for around 15 weeks, after her coach, Toni Minichiello, revealed that her career would have been at risk had she not pulled out of the upcoming World Championships.

Jessica Ennis-Hill has lost her fitness battle

Jessica Ennis-Hill ruled out for four months with injury

The Olympic champion is missing the World Championships in Moscow

Putin’s libertarian benevolence in this case has turned a chilly relationship with US ice-cold

Russia’s granting of asylum to Edward Snowden may have ended nearly six weeks in airport limbo for the man who leaked some of America’s most sensitive intelligence gathering programmes. But it has further poisoned the already severely strained relations between Moscow and Washington.

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