Pointner revives bindings row

Austria's ski jumping coach revived the controversy over the modified bindings used by Swiss Olympic gold medallist Simon Ammann, saying he was sure authorities would soon decide to ban them.


Alexander Pointner threatened last week to file a protest against Ammann's bindings on the grounds that they gave him an illegal advantage. An International Ski Federation jury subsequently ruled the modifications were legal.

Pointner, who said Austria looked at the bindings in 2008 and decided against using them on safety grounds, predicted the FIS would change its mind after the world ski flying championships next month in the Slovenian town of Planica.

Ski flying is an extreme version of ski jumping and some expert athletes can reach distances of over 230 metres, compared to 145 metres on a regular large hill.

"The jury decided it's allowed but I think they will stop it after the season. We will see what happens in Planica," Pointner said after the Austrians won the team competition.

"It (the modification) is not so stable. Nobody knows what will happen," he said. "If a lot of people try the system I hope there will be no really dangerous situations."

The FIS dismissed the idea of changing its mind.

"No, this is his opinion. I have heard nothing about this. We took a decision and this equipment is allowed," FIS ski jumping spokesman Horst Nilgen said.

The specially curved metal boot binding allows Ammann to spread himself in such a way that he increases his aerodynamic profile and can fly further.

Ammann shrugged off the furore over his bindings and easily won the normal and large hill events to become the first jumper to win four individual Olympic titles.

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