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January 11, 2019

German Luitz stripped of GS victory over oxygen use


January 11, 2019

PARIS: German alpine skier Stefan Luitz was Thursday stripped of his Beaver Creek giant slalom victory for inhaling oxygen inbetween runs, the international ski federation (FIS) announced on Thursday.

“The use of supplemental oxygen is prohibited during the in-competition period ... but does not constitute a prohibited method as defined in the WADA prohibited list,” FIS said in reference to the World Anti-Doping Agency.

A FIS Hearing Panel found that Luitz violated the rule which FIS put in place in June 2016 “when he inhaled the supplemental oxygen between the two runs”.“As a result, Stefan Luitz shall be disqualified from the giant slalom at the FIS Alpine World Cup Event in Beaver Creek on 2nd December 2018, with all resulting consequences, including forfeiture of any trophies, points and prize money.”

Luitz, who loses the 100 World Cup points he claimed for what would have been his maiden victory on the circuit, has the right to appeal the decision at the Court of Arbitration of Sport within 21 days.

The German ski federation said at the time it had been a “stupid decision” to use the oxygen masks.The Beaver Creek victory now goes to Austrian Marcel Hirscher for his 65th World Cup win. Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen moves into third behind Switzerland’s Thomas Tumler.

Luitz had only just returned to the slopes when he skied to what he thought was victory in Beaver Creek after a year out with injury.The 26-year-old German sustained a season-ending cruciate ligament tear in Alta Badia, Italy, in December 2017 that also meant he missed the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang.

His previous best World Cup finish was two seconds in the giant slalom at Val d’Isere in 2012 and 2017, while his sole world championship medal was a bronze in the team event in Schladming in 2013.

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