International News: Norway Bans 16 & Under Fluoro Use, Ustiugov Breaks Thumb (Updated)

Jason AlbertOctober 30, 2018
Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov (front) leads American Andy Newell (20), Norway’s Finn Hågen Krogh, Russia’s Andrey Larkov (behind Krogh), and Finland’s Iivo Niskanen in Quarterfinal 1 of the Tour de Ski 1.5-kilometer freestyle sprint on Saturday in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Krogh won that heat, Ustiugov finished second, Larkov was third, Newell fourth, and Niskanen fifth. Ustiugov went on to win the men’s final while Krogh placed fifth overall. (Photo: Fischer/NordicFocus)

This article has been updated to include quotes from Torbjørn Skogstad.

Here are a few international news items of note:

According to an October 21, press release from the Norwegian Ski Federation, fluorinated wax products are banned from all race classes up through the age of 16. The decision came down from the federation’s Cross-Country Committee and will be enacted this season.

The no-fluoro policy will be enforced by testing skis for fluorinated products.

“We will use a tape under the athlete’s ski before start,” Torbjørn Skogstad, chairman of Norway’s Cross-Country Committee, wrote in an email. “Then we will send the test-tape to a laboratory in Germany. After a week or so we will get the results from Germany weather there is fluoro on the sole to the ski. This test will be done in cooperation to a Norwegian company called NILU.”

Testing will occur on the day of competition. Positive results will be communicated approximately a week after testing to clubs and individuals in violation of the fluoro ban. 

A positive test for the use of fluorinated wax in the specified age group categories carries with it no penalty. “The ban is based on trust,” Skogstad said, according to a translation of the press release.

“There are several reasons why we don´t want sanctioning towards the athletes,” Skogstad wrote to FasterSkier. “First we are talking about children up to 16 years old and most of them are not preparing their own skis before a race. Second, this method for testing is still developing. As long as we don´t have a method that immediately can give us a result of the test, we think it will be wrong to punish the athlete a week after the competition.”

From Russia, the website reports that Sergey Ustiugov is at risk of missing the opening World Cups due to a broken thumb. Ustiugov reportedly injured his thumb while rollerskiing in Val Senales, Italy.

As of press time, Ustiugov was scheduled to have surgery in Moscow. The Russian skier is a two-time gold medalist at World Championships and the 2017 Tour de Ski overall winner. Ustiugov was banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics.


Jason Albert

Jason lives in Bend, Ore., and can often be seen chasing his two boys around town. He’s a self-proclaimed audio geek. That all started back in the early 1990s when he convinced a naive public radio editor he should report a story from Alaska’s, Ruth Gorge. Now, Jason’s common companion is his field-recording gear.

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