FAQ – Ban of fluorinated waxes in SkiO

Background 

The IOF Council made the following decision on September 3rd 2022 for a fluor ban in ski orienteering competitions: 

  1. Based on a recommendation from SOC and to follow up on IOF’s sustainability commitment, Council agreed to ban all fluoride waxes for the coming ski orienteering season. The implementation should be done with the proven trust-based system from last season (self-declaration) with sporadic spot checks of materials in use by team and individuals. 
  2. To grow the idea of a common waxing team, Council approved to test a system with a common waxing team at the last World Cup round in 2023 in Norway. It will be mandatory for all competitors to use this common waxing team.

The second decision was revised by IOF Council after receiving feedback from member federations and the SkiO community and now reads:

  •  IOF encourage member federations to ban all fluoride waxes, and to test the idea of a common waxing team in competitions at national level in 2023, especially for youths and juniors.

With this decision, the IOF becomes the first international federation to ban all ski preparation with fluorinated products.

 

FAQs related to this decision  

Which waxes are not allowed to use?  

All waxes containing fluoride are banned from IOF competitions.  

 

Does the decision also include World Ranking Events?  

Yes. World Ranking Events are IOF competitions.  

 

Is it possible to get a list of all waxes that are banned? 

Unfortunately, IOF can not create and maintain such a list because there are no list available of all products on the market globally. We risk creating a list which are not complete and correct, and there will always be new products on the market.  

 

Why has IOF made a different decision than FIS and IBU? 

FIS and IBU are working on a testing device to be used on site. Based on indications on high costs for  testing devices and risk that a significant amount of the start field will be denied to start, SOC and AAG, in a joint meeting, concluded that IOF must find another approach to become fluor free, at least in the short time perspective. 

 

How will the IOF monitor compliance with this decision at IOF competitions? 

At World Cup, ESOC, JWSOC and EYSOC there will be physical inspections at waxing facillities etc.

 

How was the process leading up to this decision, and who has been heard in the process? 

There has been a thorough process leading up to the fluor ban. For the 2021-22 season there was a ban of “c8-products” as a first step towards this ban. During 2022 Ski Orienteering Commission (SOC) has been working on different alternatives. SOC has consulted with people in the fluor working group in FIS/IBU, wax brands, coaches, athletes, waxers and organizers. In september IOF  held an open digital meeting on this topic.  Athletes Advisory Group (AAG) has been strongly involved and the final recommendation from SOC was in line with AAG’s preferred solution. The final decision was made by IOF Council.  

 

What should teams do with acquisitions of products that are not allowed to be used anymore?  

IOF recommends selling the products to cross country skiing or biathlon where these products will still be used in the coming season. Alternatively return the products to wax producers or other suitable returning points. 

 

Other questions?  

Please contact IOF Secretary General Sondre Gullord on [email protected]