'Told me I would be DQ'd' – Julia Marino upset as IOC makes her scribble out snowboard logo at Winter Olympics
Julia Marino claimed silver on her Prada-branded board in the women’s slopestyle, only to be told she could not use it without modification in the big air competition. After already suffering a fall in practice, and feeling unsteady on her Sharpie-edited board, she decided to withdraw rather than risk an injury. Marino is a two-time medallist in the big air at the Winter X Games.
Julia Marino of Team United States performs a trick during the Women's Snowboard Slopestyle Final
The IOC informed Marino that her board logo violated Rule 40, which controls how athletes can benefit from commercial activities at an Olympics, and said she must remove the branding or use a different board.
"For everyone asking, the night before the big air, the IOC told me they no longer approved my board even though they approved it for slope," Marino wrote on her Instagram story on Monday, with her post accompanied by a picture of her board logo scribbled over in red.
"They told me I would be disqualified if I didn’t cover the logo and obligated me to literally draw on the base of my board with a sharpie."
Marino covered the logo with a marker pen but did not feel steady on the modified board. She was already nursing a tailbone injury after a crash in practice before the IOC’s late request.
"For those who don't know, the base of the board is important for your speed and not meant to have anything on it but wax, having marker and other things on the bottom basically defeats the purpose," she said.
"I had no speed for the jump and wasn’t able to clear it several times. Was just feeling pretty physically and mentally drained from this distraction and the slam I took.
“I was super-hyped with how I did in slope, my main event, and decided not to risk further injury even though that didn’t appear to be the top priority of the IOC.”
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In response, the IOC released a statement saying: “The IOC understands the athlete unfortunately fell during practice on Friday and couldn’t compete in the competition on Monday. There had been no changes to the equipment or branding when she fell on Friday.
“Regarding the branding of the snowboard, the athlete was competing with a snowboard with branding of a company that doesn’t primarily have its business in sporting goods, contrary to Olympic advertising rules that protect the funding of the Olympic Movement.
“The sports equipment would normally be approved by the relevant NOC [National Olympic Committee] in the first instance, and subsequently by the IF [International Sport Federations] just before it enters the field of play.
“The IOC became aware of the issue after the athlete had competed, and together with the USOPC [United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee] a solution with minimal impact was sought including the possibility of keeping the same equipment and removing the branding.”
Marino has twice finished on the podium in the big air at the Winter X Games.
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