At the FIS Council Meeting on 1st April 2021 an update was provided by FIS Vice-president and the Fluor Working Group Chairman Roman Kumpost regarding banning the use of all fluorinated waxes in all FIS disciplines next season. Below Kumpost answers the biggest questions about the project.
Mr. Kumpost, can you give us the latest Working Group status update on the ban of fluor waxes?
We have been working on testing various prototypes for the device that will measure the level of fluorinated wax. First field tests were conducted at the World Cup events in Falun and Willingen. These tests revealed gave us the data to further hone the device and its algorithm, which we then put to further testing in March. This second March round of testing had very positive results
So does this mean that the hand held device is ready for use?
Not quite. We still have a few small hurdles to overcome to ensure that we have absolutely no ‘false positive readings. We still would like to measure the influence of other chemicals to ensure they don’t affect the readings. We will carry out a third round of tests in April with independent labs to confirm that the system is accurate and robust.
It sounds like the system has been widely tested this season.
Yes, many thanks to the World Cup organizers for Willingen, Falun, Lenzerheide and Ostersund. Thanks to their cooperation, we were able to carry out about 6,500 tests across Ski Jumping, Cross Country, Alpine and Biathlon, giving us a very clear set of data from a diverse sample group.
What do you see as the next steps in the implementation of the device?
We need to successfully calibrate the field-testing device. Once that is successfully delivered, then the independent lab study will be performed. We aim to have this certification process completed before the FIS Congress in May.
Does this mean that the ban will be implemented from the 2021-22 season?
First, it will be a decision of FIS council in the beginning of June and not of the working group. The working group make only recommendation to the FIS council. From the side of working group, we need to go now through the calibration and certification process. Once we have those completed, we will have a much better sense of the timeline to be able to fully able to recommend to the FIS council the implement the wax ban in time for the next winter season.