Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics: Russian and German cross-country skiers accused of using banned wax-based lube


An athlete has suggested those who make explosive allegations of cheating at the Winter Olympics “check my underwear” for evidence.

The allegations emerged against Russian and German competitors in cross-country skiing events, with officials in the latter country suggesting the allegations arose out of jealousy of his success in Beijing.

The allegations are that the countries used fluorinated wax on athletes’ skis as a lubricant.

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Fluorinated waxes, which contain C8 fluoropolymers, were banned by the International Ski Federation, which cited environmental and health impacts for the decision.

A report from a Finnish publication Iltalehti emerged after Germany won silver in the women’s 4x5km relay on Saturday February 12 and gold in the women’s classic team sprint on Wednesday at the Zhangjiakou National Cross-Country Center.

The publication quoted an anonymous “insider” who claimed that “banned C8 fluoride was used, at least in the 4x5km relay on Saturday, possibly also in the team sprint on Wednesday.”

Cross-country skiers from Germany and the 4×5 km relay team from Russia have been accused of cheating. Credit: Getty Images

German team coach Andreas Schlutter said that was untrue and suggested the claims may have been sparked by the disappointment of rival nation Finland.

“We certainly don’t use C8 fluoride, because we don’t bring it with us anymore,” he told Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet.

“What they write is a lie.

“The Finns must be disappointed to have lost medals in the relay.”

German Ski Association board member Stefan Schwarzbach backed Schlutter’s denial, calling the allegations “outrageous”.

Katharina Hennig and Victoria Carl of Germany won gold in the cross-country sprint relay.
Katharina Hennig and Victoria Carl of Germany won gold in the cross-country sprint relay. Credit: DeFodi Images/Getty Images

“To be clear, the German Ski Association adheres to all guidelines and rules. And we assume that this applies to other nations as well,” he told Eurosport.

Race director Pierre Mignerey said there was no evidence to support the claim against Germany.

“I have no reason to believe that,” he told Dagbladet.

“Maybe people noticed that Germany is sliding better and speculated.”

Russian Veronika Stepanova has also categorically denied the allegation that she and her team used C8 waxes to win gold in Saturday’s relay to Germany.

She targeted Swedish journalist Tomás Pettersson who made the claim in the newspaper Expressen.

“(Pettersson) has a well-developed sense of smell – he smells C8 fluoro on my skis (and German girls’ skis too) from far, far away. Even though it’s not there,” Stepanova said on Instagram.

“I have a suggestion, Tomas. Why don’t you insist on checking my underwear, in case I’m hiding a motor there.

Watch the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics live and free in Australia on Seven and 7pluswith coverage starting at 12 p.m. AEDT on weekdays and 10 a.m. AEDT on weekends.

7plus is your Winter Olympics streaming destination, with up to 20 channels covering more live and on-demand sports. Head to the 7plus website or download the app on your phone, tablet or smart TV to get started.


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