Ski jumping director Horst Huttel says Katharina Althaus 'would never cheat' and has lambasted the International Ski Federation for an 'inconsistent' application of the rules in the mixed team event.
Defending world champions Germany failed to qualify for the mixed team final after Althaus was disqualified due to a suit violation, while Japan, Austria and Norway each had jumpers disqualified in the final for the same reason.
Ski jumping official Agnieszka Baczkowska, who disqualified the athletes, has said she did so in the interest of justice as suits have to meet strict measurement rules to ensure they don't function as wings in the air.
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But Huttel has criticised the international ski federation for their decision, defending Althaus after she was disqualified.
"Which athlete is so stupid to manipulate in such a jump, in this shop window?" he said. "That's exactly what the women are accused of. I can only protect Katharina (Althaus), she would never do that."
The Germany team have confirmed that they used the same suits they had previously competed in without trouble, adding further confusion to the matter.
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And Huttel lamented that the rules were suddenly applied to a harsher degree, while admitting that it is in the nature of competitive sport to live close to the edge of those rules.
He added: "Katharina jumped the whole season with these suit dimensions and it was always found to conform to the rules.
"The athletes move at the limit, no question. In ski jumping it's like in Formula 1. But, you always try to go a common path with the controllers in order not to exceed these limits."
The Japan team were among the medal hopefuls on Monday but their dreams were dashed as Sara Takanashi was disqualified.
She has apologised for the impact her suit had on her team-mates.
"My disqualification changed everyone's life," said the 25-year-old, adding that she deeply regretted what had happened.
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