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Inconsistent FIS Fluorinated Wax Test

The International Ski Federation (FIS) announced a month ago that the organization is ready to start a fluorinated wax ban next season with the new fluor test equipment. However, it is known from tests in Sweden that the device is not reliable.

Photo: Harald Steiner/Bildbyrån

FIS has announced that the fluor ban will take effect next season.

According to a FIS release, the device called Alpha II guarantees reliability. The FIS is finally ready to decide at the upcoming spring conference to introduce a fluorinated wax ban.

However, Sweden’s largest afternoon newspaper, Expressen, reported that the equipment tests carried out by the Swedes and Norwegians are still far from reliable.

“It is not yet ready for the World Cup,” Petter Myhlback, Swedish National Team Wax Manager, commented for Expressen.

Tobias Dahl Fenre, the Norwegian Biathlon Team Wax Manager, comments:

“The equipment was easier to cheat than we thought,” and:

“I am very skeptical that we will have a reliable system in the short term.”

Dahl Fenre believes that they would have half of the fluor-waxed skis through the test with good preparation.

According to Maastohiihto.com, the test was made, for example, by waxing the skis with a fluor-free wax a couple of times after fluor waxing.

According to Dahl Fenre, “to put it mildly,” FIS has already given the impression that the fluor test device is working.

“I’m not so surprised. As for the FIS, I don’t have much positive to say. In recent years, they have made so many stupid decisions on this issue – on several levels.”

Expressen heard some sparse comments from FIS Cross Country Director Michal Lamplot:

“I do not want to comment on the test results. The whole thing is very scientific, and I am not an expert on the device,” says Lamplot.

“But the FIS announced several weeks ago that the test machine is working satisfactorily. Our data claim the opposite. It sounds like you have a problem,” Express replied.

“I can only say that we are very confident that we have a reliable test machine in use at the beginning of the season,” concludes Michal Lamplot.

According to several sources, a new fluor test device would cost 35.000 to 50.000 euros. It is known that the developer also has a cheaper device; the price estimate is about 5.000 euros.

One question related to testing is when the test will be performed and to whom. According to current information, the test process will take a few minutes. If the test lasts five minutes, it will take more than eight hours to test the skis of all the participants in a 100-person race with one test device.

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