Gold medalist slams Dutch association for ‘biggest scandal’ in speed skating

The Netherlands is the dominant country in speed skating, having won 121 Olympic medals in total. Norway is second with 84. The Dutch are already off to a strong start at the 2022 Winter Olympics with four gold medals in five events.

Swedish coach Johan Rojler said the ice conditions varied over the first two days of competition, which gave him pause. But, he received an explanation from the International Skating Union with details of the measurements taken. That eased his concerns about the ice itself, which he says has been more stable in recent days.

“I don’t believe (ice cream maker) Mark Messer would be fooled into doing anything with ice cream,” Rojler told a news conference. “But, knowing that there is (van Ginkel) trying to show him data to put himself in his head to make decisions for the benefit of Dutch skaters, I find that very provocative.”

Fair play at the 2022 Winter Olympic speed skating competition has been called into question.

(Getty Pictures)

Remy de Wit, the KNSB’s technical director, said van Ginkel’s words were misinterpreted and nothing but normal conversations about ice conditions were taking place.

“An ice master often informs top athletes about the condition of the surface,” Dutch Olympic Committee technical director Maurits Hendriks told a news conference. “There is only one party that decides on the quality of the ice, the temperature and that is the ISU. There is no one else who can influence that.”

Messer has previously denied helping any particular country and said he passes on any relevant information to each competing team.

Andrew B. Reiter