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Ski jumping: allegations of cheating against the German team

Because national coach Stefan Horngacher protested against the competition’s equipment at the Ski Jumping World Cup in Willingen, two Polish athletes were subsequently disqualified. The Polish media suspect calculation behind this and ask whether the Germans only wanted to distract from their own cheating.

Ski jumping is known to be a complicated sport. It is often not just a matter of a few centimeters and tenths, but also of small details that are not visible to the untrained eye. But it is precisely these details that can ultimately make the difference. Therefore, the nations are always working on new ways to exploit gaps in the regulations and to optimize their material.

The Polish team took advantage of one of these gaps at the Ski Jumping World Cup in Willingen. Stefan Hula and Piotr Zyla jumped there with a new shoe, which the team hoped would literally jump forward. They became aware of this in the German camp and immediately lodged a protest with the FIS. The result: Both Hula and Zyla were disqualified after jumping.

“This shoe is 95 percent based on the model that is known all over the world – including at the FIS,” explained Ewa Nagaba, co-owner of the manufacturing company, to the Polish TV channel “TVP Sport”. She was therefore surprised that the shoe was even objected to by the world association.

In the eyes of the Polish team, the new model is just a slight modification that the regulations also allow, and not new equipment that is forbidden. Germany’s national coach Stefan Horngacher saw things differently and with his protest ensured the qualification of the Polish jumpers.

Did the German ski jumpers just want to distract you?

“TVP Sport” now poses the question of whether Horngacher only wanted to cause trouble with his objection and distract from his own material. Because the DSV ski jumpers also tested a new binding in Willingen, which could bring a decisive advantage in the competition.

Markus Eisenbichler only used the new binding in training. Andreas Wellinger, who is not part of the Olympic team, also flew the new material in competitions. And Katharina Althaus, who flew 145 meters despite a shorter run-up on Sunday, was also spotted with the new binding.

Did Horngacher just want to distract from the new “secret weapon” and did he therefore focus on the Poles? “TVP Sport” is at least of the opinion that the FIS should also take a closer look at the material of the Germans – just so shortly before the Olympic Games, where both nations start as medal contenders.

Poland’s national coach Michal Dolezal, on the other hand, did not want to comment on the subject. The case is still too fresh, he told “skijumping.pl” and added: “I don’t want to give my opinion on it.”

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