Freestyle Skiing

Thomson Reuters - Saturday Feb. 22, 2014 17:47 ET

French ski cross suits too fast, Canada says

Sport arbitration court to rule Sunday on illegal aerodynamicity

France's ski cross team beats a fast path to the finish line on Thursday
French ski cross racers Jean Frederic Chapuis, Arnaud Bovolenta and Jonathan Midol edge out Canada's Brady Leman in the final race Thursday. (Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was meeting on Saturday night to decide whether three French skiers who swept the podium in the men's ski cross finals at the Winter Olympics wore illegal suits.

Jean Frederic Chapuis, Arnaud Bovolenta and Jonathan Midol took the medals in Thursday's final but Canadian and Slovenian officials protested to the International Ski Federation (FIS), claiming they changed their suits to gain an illegal aerodynamic effect.

FIS said that it could not consider the complaint because it had not been made in time so the protest was escalated to CAS, sporting law's highest court.

"The Canadian Freestyle Ski Association (CFSA), the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the Slovenian Olympic Committee (SOC) ask for the disqualification of all of the French competitors from the 20 February 2014 ski cross Big Final competition and for the correction of the final rankings," CAS said in a statement.

"They allege that, just before the Big Final, French support staff changed the shaping of the lower leg suits of the riders creating an aerodynamic effect that the appellants submit is contrary to the International Freestyle Skiing Competition Rules."

Chapuis led the race from start to finish. Brady Leman, of Calgary, was chasing second or third for most of the race but crashed towards the end, finishing fourth.

A panel of CAS's ad hoc division will hear the case later on Saturday and will publish its results before 5 a.m. ET on Sunday, the final day of the Games.

The clean sweep helped France to their current tally of 15 medals, their highest in a Winter Olympics.


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