FILE UNDER -- Alpine

Swiss coach fired for points manipulation

Swiss coach fired for points manipulation{mosimage}GENEVA (AP) – A member of the Swiss alpine ski team was fired after it was discovered results from two women’s races this winter were rigged, the International Ski Federation said Tuesday.

Lars Erik Gulaker, former head of the junior team, was fired by the Swiss Ski Federation after it learned that two Swiss skiers were included in the results of lower-tier FIS slalom races in Davos on Dec. 8-9 – even though neither woman was present.

“The Swiss ski team terminated his contract and suspended him,” FIS general secretary Sarah Lewis said. “Swiss Ski have done what they were asked. They investigated, they fired the coach involved, they suspended the representative of the Davos ski club who was responsible.”

Swiss ski stars Marlies Oester and Corina Gruenenfelder both figured in the Davos slalom results as having been eliminated.

The inclusion of the two experienced skiers in a mostly Swiss field would allow lower-ranked skiers to earn extra FIS points for beating the two higher-ranked skiers and receive better starting numbers in World Cup events.

Gulaker has taken the brunt of the blame, though others were involved. “It was a stupid mistake,” Gulaker told The Associated Press. “I closed an eye, I accepted to be part of it. I regret it. I would change it if I could. But I can’t.”

“I’ve accepted the blame, the punishment. But this is really serious for me. I will probably never be able to work again in Switzerland ever again in my life.”

FIS was tipped off by an anonymous letter, Lewis said.

“There is no question that in training technical delegates we will make it clear to them to watch out for such things going on,” Lewis said.

The incident is the latest blow for the Swiss team, which has struggled through its worst World Cup season in almost 40 years, failing to record a single victory for the first time since 1966.

The miserable campaign led Swiss Ski last month to dismiss the head of the women’s team, Marie-Theres Nadig, who was replaced Tuesday by Osi Inglin.
-The Association Press

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