Mowinckel of Norway Disqualified Due to Wax Ban, a First Under New Regulations

by Lucas Garcia
Disqualification of Ragnhild Mowinckel

In a highly emotional moment, Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway was disqualified from the inaugural women’s World Cup skiing race this Saturday. She became the first athlete to be ruled out of competition for using a prohibited type of ski wax.

Mowinckel, who secured two Olympic silver medals during the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, had initially finished the first leg of the giant slalom at sixth position. However, she was subsequently removed from the competition when her skis did not pass the mandatory post-race inspection carried out by the officials of the International Ski Federation (FIS).

The race was ultimately clinched by Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami, while American Mikaela Shiffrin took the sixth position.

A newly implemented rule this season explicitly prohibits the utilization of fluorinated waxes in the preparation of skis for competition. FIS has outlawed the substance in their sanctioned events, following extended discussions concerning its potential adverse impacts on both human health and the environment.

In an interview with Norwegian broadcaster TV 2, Mowinckel stated, “We must investigate the situation. The intention was never to cheat; that would be the most abhorrent act for me.”

Peter Gerdol, the women’s race director for the International Ski and Snowboard Federation, clarified that all skis were scrutinized for the banned substance following both legs of the race. “Mowinckel’s skis exhibited significantly high levels of the substance, far exceeding the minimum threshold. Thus, the jury had no alternative but to disqualify her,” he elaborated.

Head, the equipment provider for Mowinckel, expressed their bewilderment at the decision. Rainer Salzgeber, the Head race director, said, “This is the worst-case scenario, and we have no plausible explanation for it.” Salzgeber further mentioned that Mowinckel’s skis had undergone tests conducted by FIS officials just two days prior and had shown no signs of any banned substances. “Everything was in the clear then; now it’s a completely different story,” he added.

For years, fluorinated wax has been a staple in ski maintenance, used not only in Alpine skiing but also in cross-country disciplines. It is thought to enhance the speed of skis by creating a moisture- and dirt-repellent layer. This minimizes the friction between the ski and the snow, thereby allowing for increased velocity.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Disqualification of Ragnhild Mowinckel

What led to Ragnhild Mowinckel’s disqualification in the women’s World Cup skiing event?

Ragnhild Mowinckel was disqualified for using a type of ski wax that is now prohibited under new regulations by the International Ski Federation (FIS). Her skis failed the mandatory post-race test conducted by FIS officials.

Who won the race in which Mowinckel was disqualified?

Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami won the race, while American Mikaela Shiffrin secured the sixth position.

Why has fluorinated wax been banned by FIS?

Fluorinated wax has been banned due to its potential adverse effects on human health and the environment. The FIS implemented this new rule after years of debate on the matter.

How did the disqualification impact Mowinckel’s equipment supplier, Head?

Head’s race director, Rainer Salzgeber, expressed disbelief and said they had “absolutely no explanation” for the occurrence. According to him, Mowinckel’s skis had been tested just two days prior to the event and had cleared all inspections.

What is the significance of fluorinated wax in ski competitions?

Fluorinated wax has been a common element in ski maintenance for many years. It is used to create a layer that repels moisture and dirt, which reduces friction between the ski and the snow surface, enabling an increase in speed.

How are skis tested for compliance with FIS regulations?

Skis are subjected to mandatory post-race tests carried out by FIS officials. All skis are scrutinized for the presence of banned substances like fluorinated wax.

What did Peter Gerdol, the women’s race director for FIS, say about the disqualification?

Peter Gerdol stated that Mowinckel’s skis showed levels of the banned substance significantly higher than the minimum threshold. As a result, the jury had no option other than to disqualify her from the competition.

What was Ragnhild Mowinckel’s reaction to her disqualification?

Mowinckel was visibly emotional and, in an interview with Norwegian broadcaster TV 2, she emphasized that the intention was never to cheat. She considered cheating to be the most “abhorrent act” for her.

More about Disqualification of Ragnhild Mowinckel

  • FIS Official Announcement on Fluorinated Wax Ban
  • Lara Gut-Behrami’s Career Highlights
  • Environmental Impact of Fluorinated Wax
  • Overview of World Cup Skiing Rules and Regulations
  • Interview with Ragnhild Mowinckel on TV 2
  • Head’s Official Statement on Mowinckel’s Disqualification

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SkepticalSusan October 29, 2023 - 2:18 am

anyone else think its fishy? Her skis were okay two days ago and now they’re not? Something doesn’t add up here.

EnvironmentFirst October 29, 2023 - 4:43 am

Glad to see FIS finally taking steps to protect the environment. Fluorinated wax has been an issue for years, about time somethings done.

MikeThompson October 29, 2023 - 7:07 am

Wow, can’t believe Mowinckel got disqualified for this! That must be a massive blow for her, and her equipment supplier Head too.

SkiFan101 October 29, 2023 - 9:59 am

This new rule by FIS is gonna shake up the sport big time. People need to pay more attention to what they’re using on their skis now.

Rachel_Sports October 29, 2023 - 5:06 pm

Feels bad for Mowinckel but rules are rules. Makes me wonder how many more disqualifications we’ll see this season.

NorwegianPride October 29, 2023 - 6:27 pm

Mowinckel is a top athlete. she’ll bounce back from this for sure. Just a hiccup.

DanTheMan October 29, 2023 - 8:56 pm

Gut-Behrami won and no one’s talking about it? She deserves some credit too y’know.

TechGuru October 29, 2023 - 10:29 pm

Never thought ski wax would make headlines. Time for some tech innovation in this space maybe?


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