The Norwegian ski racer Ragnhild Mowinckel was disqualified from the Alpine season opener in Sölden because of too high a fluorine level on her skis.
They were not happy about the decision, but they had no other choice, said the race director of the World Federation of Fis, Peter Gerdol. Mowinckel was in sixth place after the first round of the giant slalom on the Rettenbachferner on Saturday. The World Cup bronze medalist is the first athlete to suffer the new ban on fluorine in the World Cup.
Banned since this season
According to the regulations, the use of fluorowax in the preparation of skis is prohibited from this season. The maximum permitted value was raised from 1.0 to 1.8 a few days before the start in Austria. Measurements are made using infrared spectroscopy. Until recently, the tests were not considered 100% reliable and therefore caused uncertainty among the athletes. However, the value of Mowinckel's skis was extremely high, explained Gerdol.
Of course, she tried not to cheat and was sure that there had been a mistake, Mowinckel told the Norwegian television station TV2. That was the “worst case” and a “disaster,” said the perplexed racing director Rainer Salzgeber from their outfitter Head. The service man had the skis in exactly the same condition checked by the Fis two days earlier and everything was fine, said the 56-year-old.
Fluorine is extremely water-repellent and can therefore provide a speed advantage. However, it is also harmful to the environment and carcinogenic.
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