Fenninger dispute with Austria flares again over ad campaign
VIENNA (AP) Tensions between overall World Cup champion Anna Fenninger and the Austrian ski federation flared again on Tuesday, less than a week after they said they resolved their issues.
The federation ordered the Olympic super-G champion to instantly stop an advertising campaign for a German car manufacturer, a rival brand of one of the governing body's main sponsors.
''We might still be on speaking terms if this campaign is being discontinued immediately, but otherwise it will have consequences,'' federation president Peter Schroecksnadel told the Austria Press Agency.
Austrian skiers are allowed individual commercials deals only when they do not rival the governing body's.
In a statement e-mailed to media, Fenninger and her personal manager Klaus Kaercher said they were ''very surprised'' by the federation's demand, adding that ''this campaign only relates to Anna Fenninger's social engagement with Laureus, and her role as ambassador of the Cheetah Conservation Fund.''
The car manufacturer is one of the founding partners of the Laureus foundation.
The ad shows a car driving on a mountain road with Fenninger's face projected in the skies. It appeared in an Austrian magazine this week for the first time, just days after the federation and the skier said in a joint statement that ''existing misunderstandings and communication problems have been disposed once and for all.''
They have been quarreling for months about the skier's manager, and about her wish to have one of the team physicians working exclusively for her. Fenninger quit a training camp with the Austrian women's team in Cyprus in May, and even threatened to leave the federation if she were forced into parting ways with Kaercher.
Last week, they reached an agreement to share the costs for additional physiotherapy staff.
Fenninger, who turns 26 on Thursday, has won four gold medals and eight in total at Olympics and world championships, and has won 14 World Cup races.