The International Ski Federation (FIS) is due to make a final decision this Friday on the ban of fluorinated ski waxes starting right this season.
While many stakeholders agree in principle with the fluoro ban announced last November, a lot of them believe the decision was taken too quickly. According to them, there are too few detector testing devices to find cheaters at all levels and they find them not yet completely reliable.
Also, what is (or will be) the impact of this ban on Canadian teams?
We put the question to Raphaël Grosset, head technician of Biathlon Canada.
“The FIS made a decision without thinking of the consequences for the teams but also for the manufacturers who don’t have enough time to develop new products to match the level of what we used before.
“As a result, races will be slower and therefore favour the best skiers.
I am not against the ban on fluoride, but the FIS wanted to make a PR move to do the right thing in a world that must be greener. Except that to do this, you have to have a plan. At the end of the day, I think the FIS is not ready at all and they’re going to have to push back a year or two because the timeline was way too short.
“They’re coming off more as incompetent than anything else. I don’t understand that the IBU (International Biathlon Union), which is usually very well run and organized, has followed suit.
“In my opinion this ban should have been done after the Beijing Games, so that everyone would have had enough time to adapt to the new regulations.
“The big teams would always have an advantage over us but it’s always been that way. It forces us to be smarter and more creative.”