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Swiss skier Defago accepts disqualification for equipment violation

Swiss skier Defago accepts disqualification for equipment violation{mosimage}VAL GARDENA, Italy – Swiss skier Didier Defago acknowledged Wednesday that an error was made in preparing his skis and that he was rightly disqualified from a World Cup race.

The distance between the base of Defago’s ski and the sole of his boot for Sunday’s super-combined race in Val d’Isere, France, was declared above the International Ski Federation limit of 55 millimeters (2.17 inches).

After Defago was stripped of victory, Austria’s Michael Walchhofer was awarded the win.

”It was an error and I must accept it,” Defago said in a press conference Wednesday in Val Gardena following a downhill training session.

Defago expressed support for his ski supplier and those who had prepared his skis. He lost an estimated $90,150 in prize money and sponsor bonuses that would have come with the win.

”I don’t even want to talk about that,” he said. ”The performance remains and that’s what is important for me.”

Defago’s only career win remains the Val Gardena super G in 2002. This year’s super G here is scheduled for Friday.

Defago said an appeal to the International Ski Federation stood only a ”small chance” of succeeding.

The Swiss team’s appeal was made Monday and a decision is expected by Thursday.

– The Associated Press

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