Special Skier's Underwear Banned at World Cup

It apparently gives athletes an unfair advantage
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2012 4:37 PM CST
Special Skier's Underwear Banned at World Cup
Andre Myhrer of Sweden clears a gate during the men's ski world cup slalom second run in Wengen, Switzerland, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012.   (AP Photo/Keystone/Alessandro Della Bella)

The newest suspicions of cheating in sports come not from the use of performance enhancing drugs but from the wearing of special underwear. Professional skiers who will compete in the upcoming World Cup in Switzerland were bluntly told by officials they cannot don a "full-bodied, plastic-neoprene hybrid sheath" worn under their outer racing uniform, reports the New York Times. The suit might shave off a crucial few hundredths of a second, but the undies are banned.

The regulations are meant to protect the health of the skiers, forbidding them from wearing clothing that does not allow the skin to breathe and release perspiration. However, a debate is erupting between officials and coaches over whether the issue is safety or cheating—as well as how to determine which garments are disqualifying as no standard test currently exists. "There are a lot of question marks," says the US men's coach. (More underwear stories.)

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