Germans 'have skeletons in closet'

Canada's Olympic skeleton silver medallist Jeff Pain has called on the sport's governing body to look at Germany's sleds after suggesting they were in breach of the rules.


The 39-year-old (pictured), aiming to win the only major honour to elude him during a long career, was unhappy about the sleds the German sliders had been cleared to use in next week's races.

"I know for a fact that they have an electro-magnetic component in their sleds," Pain said, without revealing how he knew. "It would be nice to have that investigated."

Pain said the use of electro magnetic material in the posts that connect the runners to the fibreglass body of the sled could help dampen the vibrations experienced by sliders as they hurtle down at speeds of around 130kph.

"I don't think anybody knows about it but I think it needs to be out there, it is reality and they need to take a closer look," he said.

Bobsleigh and skeleton governing body, the FIBT, said that no German sleds had failed inspections during the World Cup season where they are tested regularly.

"All the sleds on the World Cup are regularly tested and will get inspected again prior to the Olympics," FIBT director of communications Don Krone told Reuters.

"The FIBT has full confidence in the expertise and the knowledge of the inspectors to apply the rules uniformly to all competitors," adding that all the steel used in the runners on the sleds comes from the same batch provided by the FIBT.

However, Jon Montgomery, who won a World Cup race on Whistler's feared track last year, stirred the pot further when he said Germany's sled allowed them to get away with errors.

"I think in a lot of cases we need to be sliding perfectly to win and the Germans are afforded some mistakes in their drive lines because of their sled design and what they have got going on," he told reporters.

The German camp responded to the Canadian claims by saying their sleds were scrutinised more than other countries.

"They are the most controlled," German sliding teams spokesman Margit Dengler-Parr said. "The thing is we're really fast so other countries accuse us of maybe having something that doesn't adhere to the rules.

"This season the sleds were taken apart by the materials commission (at FIBT) and the 'hearts and kidneys' examined and nothing was found. We're very relaxed about these accusations."

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