After less than a week of deliberation, the International Ski Federation (FIS) Appeals Committee responded to the case Torin Koos (BSF/Rossignol) filed last Monday regarding his disqualification from the classic sprint at U.S. Cross Country Championships in Rumford, ME for obstruction of competition. The Committee rejected his case for lack of sufficient evidence.
In his appeal, Koos primarily took issue with the process by which the jury disqualified him, which he interpreted as a departure from the due process outlined in the FIS International Competition Rulebook (ICR). According to Koos, he was not allowed to defend his actions from the A-final before he was informed of his disqualification, which violates rule 224.7 in the ICR.
The committee’s response cited Koos’s lack of evidence to support this claim, and in its official ruling, included counterevidence for Rumford TD Kent Slaughter that stated Koos had actually been allowed to give a defense before the jury ruled to suspend him from competition. This decision automatically resulted in disqualification, as it was the second reprimand Koos received that week.
In a written statement on Monday morning, Koos maintained that he felt his case had been a strong one, but had no choice to accept the Appeals Commission’s decision.
“I received a written letter from the U.S. Anti Doping Agency stating twenty minutes after finishing the race that the race jury had disqualified me,” wrote Koos. “The letter goes on to say this is the sole reason the lead Doping Control Officer released me from doping control. As this all happened before I was summoned to the race jury room, [BSF coaches] Tim [Baucom], Bjorn [Bakken], Dragan [Danevski] and I all felt we had independent, verified evidence that the due process ensuring an athlete the right to defend themselves had been infringed upon.
“It is apparent from the decision that FIS felt otherwise,” he continued. “I have to respect this decision.”
The day after the conclusion of racing in Rumford, Koos got on a plane to Trondheim, Norway, where he will live for the rest of the winter to train and race for the ski club based there. With the conclusion of his appeal, Koos said he wants to move on and focus on the rest of his year.
“It is over and I really look forward to the rest of the season,” he said. “I have been really appreciative of all the encouragement and support I have received, both in all the years skiing, and also with this appeals process. A special thank you has to go out to the Bridger Ski Foundation.”
Koos continued on to say he was appreciative of the work the Black Mountain volunteers put in to make the 2012 U.S. Nationals possible, which he believes is what people should remember about the week of racing in Rumford.
“At the events banquet dinner, a Chisholm ski member stood up and told a story about how Matt Pauli had paid his own way and was using up his vacation time to prepare the courses at Black Mountain,” wrote Koos. “Hearing this story was special and reminded me why being a part of the Nordic ski community is such a privilege.”
Audrey Mangan (@audreymangan) is an Associate Editor at FasterSkier and lives in Colorado. She learned to love skiing at home in Western New York.