Tongan Olympic hero Pita Taufatofua too good to be true?

Venezuelan skier Cesar Baena, who failed to qualify for the Winter Olympics, told Stuff the process was a rort.

“What we saw with Pita, I’m sad to say, is someone who cheated the system, someone who got [around] the rules.

“This was a fake race they organised between themselves only for these guys to qualify. If you saw the results from the real competitions against the experience guys, they do not have the level.”

Another skier who did compete at Pyeongchang, who did not want to be named, insisted the ‘Bogota Five’ have dented the sport’s credibility.

“Their results are suspicious,” he told Stuff. “To me, it is all too much to ignore.

“Their participation really devalued the Olympic participation of all others who were among the last 20, but who actually qualified from real ski races.”

These claims seem to have struck a chord with the FIS, which is reviewing its qualification standards for the next Olympics.

“FIS is aware of some results inconsistencies of several cross country skiing athletes during the Pyeongchang 2018 qualification period,” it said in a statement.

“We are currently looking at how we can improve/modify the cross country qualification process for the next Olympic Winter games in Beijing in 2022.” 

Newshub attempted to contact Brisbane-based Taufatofua for comment, but he did not respond.


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