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U.S. speedskater Maria Lamb criticizes sanctioning body

Sochi Olympics Speedskating Women

Speedskater Maria Lamb of the U.S. trains at the Adler Arena Skating Center during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Matt Dunham

The U.S. speed skating team has finished without medals in the individual events at the Sochi Olympics, a stunning result for a team that has captured the most Winter Olympic medals of any U.S. squad in history.

Topping the list of problems that the Americans have encountered in Sochi is the controversy that ensued over the Under Armour “Mach 39" suits, which were swapped out in favor of previous racing suits.

The team’s biggest star, Shani Davis, has admitted that the controversy has had a negative effect on the skaters. Now, a female skater, Maria Lamb, has gone even further by directly criticizing the U.S. Speedskating organization.

Dubbing the suit saga as merely the “tip of the iceberg,” Lamb has claimed that there are many more issues within the organization that have helped contribute to their Sochi disaster.

“I think over the last several years most of us have managed to perform incredibly well in spite of a lot of the organization rather than because of it,” she said to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

“That adds up over the years, and unfortunately, it came to a head here. This is my third Games and there is so much more nonsense in general going on.”

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She also criticized a pair of U.S. Speedskating figures by name - Mark Greenwald, the former executive director of the sanctioning body, and Finn Halverson, the group’s director of long-track performance.

”...If you want to point fingers, Mark Greenwald caused a lot of damage to the organization by treating people wrong or just outright pushing them out,” Lamb said. “We lost a lot of really good staff and have had to deal with a lot of controversy. That definitely affects you.

“Finn Halverson has done a lot of damage the way he has single-handedly perhaps destroyed so many good athletes, at least their performance here at the Games, due to a lot of his calls and actions.”

For their part, U.S. Speedskating chose not to comment on Lamb’s criticism according to the Star-Tribune.

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