Bode Miller DQ’d for big ski boots
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
ZAGREB, Croatia ” Bode Miller was disqualified for wearing boots a fraction of an inch too high, while Jean-Baptiste Grange of France won Tuesday night’s World Cup slalom.
Miller finished 29th in the first of two legs but was disqualified after a random check showed the soles of his ski boots were too high by just one-hundredth of an inch, the International Ski Federation said.
“It’s black and white, the rules are clear so nothing we can do about that,” said Forest Carey, the coach of Miller’s independent ski team.
Grange finished in a combined time of 1 minute, 53.31 seconds on the icy Crveni Spust course to edge Ivica Kostelic of Croatia by 0.05 seconds. Giuliano Razzoli of Italy took third. American Ted Ligety was 27th.
Miller’s boots were tested by FIS officials between runs. The rules limit the height of ski boots to 1.35 inches because knee injuries often occur when boot soles are higher. Miller’s boots were 1.36 inches.
“Bode switched boots this morning, he got a new pair,” Carey said. “He is very disappointed that he can’t race the second run. It’s a night race, lot’s of people out there, so he was fired up.”
Carey said Miller ” last year’s overall World Cup champion ” was not aware he was racing in illegal boots.
“Bode has been tested 380 times in his career so no way he would take any risks,” Carey said.
Miller is expected to stick with the boots after a slight adjustment.
In December 2005, Miller was fined $933 for refusing to hand over his ski boots for the regular FIS inspection after the opening leg of World Cup slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.
Grange also won the season-opening slalom in Levi, Finland, in November and extended his lead in the discipline standings over Kostelic.
Defending World Cup slalom champion Manfred Moelgg was fourth, 0.45 seconds behind. Mario Matt of Austria, last year’s winner, finished 18th after a disappointing second run.
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