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Team GB race suits provoke controversy at Winter Olympics

The cutting-edge skinsuits being worn by members of the Great Britain skeleton team at the ongoing Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea have incited official protests from a number of rival teams.

The kit has been designed by UK-based company TotalSim and is based on the same technology worn by Team GB cyclists at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Scientists from the company have worked with the English Institute of Sport to develop drag-resistant ridges on the kit to reduce wind resistance. 

Several teams, including the US, lodged official protests with governing body the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) after several athletes from Great Britain performed well in qualifying events on February 14.  

Their complaints are thought to revolve around the IBSF’s rules that no aerodynamic elements can be attached to race suits. 

Team GB immediately moved to deny its athletes were breaking any rules by wearing the suits, a stance backed by IBSF. A spokesman for the organisation said: “The IBSF checked the race suits of the British skeleton team. There were no rule violations.”

For its part, Team GB explained: “We are confident all competition equipment meets the technical and commercial requirements for every sport and discipline. We do not comment on specific technical aspects of equipment prior to competition.”

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