Canada's luge coach, Wolfgang Staudinger, thinks the team's failure to get onto the Olympic podium in the luge relay event is due in part to cheating on the part of the silver-winning Russians, reports Kerry Gillespie of the Toronto Star:
A luge track is like an ice rink, with pipes inside, and the temperature on the track can be regulated. Turn it up and the track slows down. That’s what Staudinger thinks the Russians did here on Thursday night.
The dominant German team won gold, as expected; the Russians silver and Latvia bronze.
“It’s always hard to prove, but I’m long enough in the business that I can tell you when people, especially the Austrians who won silver yesterday, were dropping half a second that’s not normal.”
The Canadian luge team disagreed with their coach's assessment, blaming their fourth place finish, just a tenth of a second off a bronze medal pace, on their own failings. Sochi officials have not yet responded to the claims, but Staudinger will have a hard time making his case, considering the gold medal German team went directly before Canada and finished over a second faster than the rest of the field.
Still, can't blame a guy from the former West Germany for being naturally suspicious of Russian tampering. [Toronto Star]