The German cross-country skiing team have angrily denied suggestions that their Olympic athletes have been using a banned form of ski wax in Beijing.
Germany surprisingly beat heavily favoured Sweden to win gold in the women's team sprint and finished second in the women's 4x5km relay.
After those successes, Finnish newspaper Iltalehti reported that unnamed "insiders" in the sport were suspecting the Germans of using fluorinated wax containing so-called C8 fluorocarbons, which was banned last year by the International Ski Federation because of its negative environmental impact.
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German team coach Andreas Schlutter has now denounced those accusations as "a lie."
"We certainly do not use C8 fluorine, as we no longer bring it with us. What they're writing is a lie," Schlutter told Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet. "The Finns must be disappointed over losing out on medals in the relay."
Using the right wax is one of the key components of cross-country skiing as the best setup for creating the perfect glide and grip is determined by the weather conditions and snow texture, meaning they can vary greatly from race to race. The top teams employ a horde of wax technicians who spend hours before each race testing different setups in the hope of giving their athletes a valuable advantage on the course.
The use of waxes containing C8 has been a hot topic leading up to the Beijing Games as the chemical is not banned in China and the FIS has admitted it was unclear whether any tests would be conducted during the Olympics to determine if such waxes had been used.
Stefan Schwarzbach, a member of the German Ski Association's board of directors, also denied that the team have been using C8 waxes.
"We normally do not comment on anonymous accusations, even more so when they are so outrageous," Schwarzbach told Eurosport. "But to make it clear: The German Ski Association adheres to all guidelines and rules. And we assume that this also applies to the other nations."
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