January 10, 2019 / 1:38 PM / 12 days ago

Germany's Luitz stripped of Beaver Creek win over oxygen use

FILE PHOTO: Alpine Skiing - Alpine Skiing World Cup - Men's Giant Slalom - Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria - December 19, 2018 Germany's Stefan Luitz celebrates REUTERS/Lisi Niesnerwe/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - German skier Stefan Luitz has been stripped of his World Cup giant slalom victory at Beaver Creek last month after using additional oxygen between races, the international skiing federation (FIS) said on Thursday.

Luitz stunned Austrian favourite Marcel Hirscher to win his maiden World Cup event but the FIS said the 26-year-old had used supplemental oxygen between the first and second runs, a violation of competition rules and not a doping offence.

The use of oxygen does not constitute a prohibited method by the World Anti-Doping Agency but FIS bans it during competitions.

“The use of supplemental oxygen is prohibited during the in-competition period,” the FIS said in a statement. “The FIS Hearing Panel has found that Luitz violated the above FIS rule prohibiting the use of scientific and medical equipment.

“As a result, Stefan Luitz shall be disqualified from the giant slalom at the FIS Alpine World Cup Event in Beaver Creek on 2nd December 2018, with all resulting consequences, including forfeiture of any trophies, points and prize money.”

Luitz, whose Beaver Creek race was the first in a year after tearing a cruciate ligament, has the right to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport with 21 days.

Hirscher finished second and Thomas Tumler, of Switzerland, third in Beaver Creek.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, Editing by Ed Osmond

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