Alpine Skier Accused of Cheating Has World Cup Victory Reinstated

March 19, 2019 by Tom Ramstack
A skier carves turns near the bottom of the mountain at Bridger Bowl ski area near Bozeman, Mont. The area features breathtaking scenery and downhill runs for all abilities, beginner to advanced back-country expert. (John Myers/Duluth News Tribune/TNS)

The international Court of Arbitration for Sport last week reinstated a victory for German alpine skier Stefan Luitz that he won in December during the World Cup skiing competition.

He was stripped of his medal by the International Ski Federation for inhaling from an oxygen tank between runs.

However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland said standards of the World Anti-Doping Agency take precedence in international sports competition. The standards give no indication there is anything wrong with inhaling oxygen between runs.

“Accordingly, Stefan Luitz is no longer disqualified from the giant slalom at the [International Ski Federation] Alpine World Cup Event in Beaver Creek (Colorado) on 2 December 2018, and the order that he forfeit any medals, points and prizes obtained at such event is revoked,” the court said in a press release.

Luitz won an upset victory in the giant slalom, beating out the expected winner, Austria’s Marcel Hirscher. The International Ski Federation began an investigation after Luitz was photographed inhaling oxygen through a mouthpiece between runs.

The federation disqualified him in January, saying its rules forbid oxygen inhalation during competition. The 26-year-old also lost his trophy and prize money.

The federation said the disqualification was a one-time punishment. He still would be allowed to participate in future skiing competitions.

Luitz appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. His legal team argued that Luitz had assumed the International Ski Federation would adopt standards of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

In its ruling last Friday, the court said the code of the World Anti-Doping Agency should determine whether Luitz did anything wrong.

The World Anti-Doping Agency is a foundation organized by the International Olympic Committee to coordinate efforts against performance-enhancing drugs in sports.

The agency’s code mentions steroids and blood-doping as being prohibited but says nothing about supplemental oxygen. As a result, the International Ski Federation rule banning oxygen appears to be “in conflict with and thus overridden by the [World Anti-Doping Agency],” the Court of Arbitration for Sport press release said.

The federation responded by saying that it “fully accepts” the court’s decision.

After the ruling, Luitz posted a Facebook message saying he has been on “an emotional roller coaster ride” since losing his World Cup title. He also has suffered injuries. However, he said his efforts finally have been worthwhile.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport is an arbitration board established by the International Olympic Committee in 1984 to resolve sports-related disputes.

In The News

GOP Candidate Clings to 8-vote Lead in US House Race in Iowa
State News
GOP Candidate Clings to 8-vote Lead in US House Race in Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Republican candidate saw her vote lead dwindle to single digits Wednesday in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District as a dramatic recount moved toward a conclusion in a race that will help determine the size of Democrats’ majority in the House of... Read More

They're Baaack: Trump and Allies Still Refuse Election Loss
2020 Elections
They're Baaack: Trump and Allies Still Refuse Election Loss

WASHINGTON (AP) — Monday seemed like the end of President Donald Trump's relentless challenges to the election, after the federal government acknowledged President-elect Joe Biden was the “apparent winner” and Trump cleared the way for cooperation on a transition of power. But his baseless claims have... Read More

Sorry, Grinch. Virus Won't Stop NORAD from Tracking Santa
In The News
Sorry, Grinch. Virus Won't Stop NORAD from Tracking Santa

WASHINGTON (AP) — Children of the world can rest easy. The global pandemic won't stop them from tracking Santa Claus' progress as he delivers gifts around the globe on Christmas Eve. The North American Aerospace Defense Command has announced that NORAD will track Santa on Dec.... Read More

High Court Blocks NY Coronavirus Limits on Houses of Worship
Supreme Court
High Court Blocks NY Coronavirus Limits on Houses of Worship

WASHINGTON (AP) — As coronavirus cases surge again nationwide the Supreme Court late Wednesday barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus. The justices split 5-4 with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the... Read More

Biden Seeks Unity as Trump Stokes Fading Embers of Campaign
Political News
Biden Seeks Unity as Trump Stokes Fading Embers of Campaign

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — On a day of grace and grievance, President-elect Joe Biden summoned Americans to join in common purpose against the coronavirus pandemic and their political divisions while the man he will replace stoked the fading embers of his campaign to “turn the election... Read More

Black Friday Offers Beacon of Hope to Struggling Stores
Economy
Black Friday Offers Beacon of Hope to Struggling Stores

NEW YORK (AP) — After months of slumping sales and businesses toppling into bankruptcy, Black Friday is offering a small beacon of hope. In normal times, Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, drawing millions of shoppers eager to get started on their... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top