Extra oxygen could cost German skier first World Cup win
ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND Days after getting his first career World Cup win, Stefan Luitz could be disqualified for breaking skiing’s doping rules by using an oxygen mask.
The International Ski Federation said Friday it is investigating an incident that occurred last Sunday in Beaver Creek, Colo.
Racing in the giant slalom started at an altitude of 10,340 feet (3,152 metres) and the 26-yearold German won by retaining his first-run lead. The victory ended runner-up Marcel Hirscher’s fiverace winning streak in the event.
FIS anti-doping rules state oxygen tanks cannot be brought to race venues and “competition results achieved after the use of the equipment shall be automatically disqualified.”
The World Anti-doping Agency allows “supplemental oxygen administered by inhalation, but not intravenously,” though it notes that sports bodies could choose to prohibit it.
“Athletes must check the rules that apply to supplemental oxygen use with the sporting authorities governing the events they compete in,” WADA guidelines state.
German team director Wolfgang Maier acknowledged to the DPA news agency the team made a mistake, but had not cheated. Luitz will be eligible to race in Saturday’s giant slalom in Val d’isere, France, pending the investigation, FIS said.
At the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Luitz was poised for the second-fastest time in the giant slalom’s first run, but hooked a ski around the final gate, fell over the finish line and was disqualified for straddling the gate.