Skiing: FIS denies blame on Maier

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The Independent Online
THE international ski federation, FIS, has rejected charges by the fiance of Ulrike Maier that its officials were to blame for the accident that killed the Austrian during a World Cup downhill on Saturday.

Gianfranco Kasper, the FIS director, said on Austrian television late on Monday that organisers did 'everything humanly possible to ensure safety' on the piste at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria. 'We have a clear conscience. There is no patent formula for ruling out every kind of risk,' he said. Hubert Schweighofer, the bereaved fiance and father of Maier's four-year-old daughter, appeared later on Austrian television and said: 'The FIS is fully responsible.'

He said Maier would have suffered merely a bad fall, instead of a broken neck, had her head not struck a wooden post driven into the piste to hold a timing device.

Austria's women have pulled out of the downhill in Sierra Nevada, Spain, which has been rescheduled for today to avoid Maier's funeral, but the men's downhill will go ahead at Garmisch next weekend.

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