Austrian ski jump and Nordic combined director retires

Posted By: The Ski Channel on March 10, 2010 4:49 pm

After 17 years as sport director for ski jumping and Nordic combined for the Austrian ski federation, Former Olympic ski jump champion Toni Innauer has hung up his jacket.

At 51 years old, Innauer has a solid resume. He won gold at 1980 Lake Placid Games and silver four years earlier in Innsbruck. Many foreign ski federations offered him positions, but he turned them all down.

Innauer will be succeeded by another former Olympic champion, Ernst Vettori, who won the ski jumping event at the 1992 Games in Albertville, France.

Innauer became the first ski jumper to be awarded the maximum of 20.0 points by all five jury members after his record-breaking 176-meter effort in Oberstdorf, Germany, in 1976. He is one of only three jumpers ever to achieve that feat.

In 1989, he became head coach of the Austrian ski jump team before being named sport director four years later.

Three years ago, Innauer made headlines when he told a newspaper he thought some of the Austrian cross-country skiers and biathletes banned for life by the IOC were doping at the 2006 Turin Winter Games. “Of course it was doping, I have no doubts about that,” Innauer said then, but stressed there was no “systematic doping” in Austrian skiing.

Under Innauer’s reign, Austria won six gold, two silver and three bronze medals at the 2006 and 2010 Olympics.