Winter Paralympics Report: Australian Skier Disqualified

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By Dhrubajyoti Biswas | March 12, 2014 1:40 PM EST

Blind Australian skier Melissa Perrine got disqualified from the super-combined event in the Winter Paralympics held at Sochi. Melissa was wearing a visor fitted to her helmet with blue duct tape in the women's vision impaired category on Tuesday.

Steve Graham, Australia's head coach confirmed the news stated, Melissa wore the visor to stop light shining in her eyes during slalom run, but competitors are not allowed to wear such things in the tournament.

Graham further said, "She did it about a month ago in one of the World Cups because the sun was really bright, and it went straight into her eyes,"

"Nothing was said then. So they decided to do it today."

Graham further stated he was not aware of the fact that Perrine and her guide Andrew had already taken the decision to wear the visor during the game.

"I didn't know until they got to the finish line that they were using it. I was fairly sure of the rule so when they discussed it about a month ago I said, 'make sure you know what the rule is'. So it's a shared responsibility for sure.

"I don't think they looked into it - obviously they didn't. I should have probably looked into it a bit more thoroughly."

The decision was announced around two hours after the end of the game when Perrine had already left the circuit and returned to the athletes' village.

Graham further made it clear it was futile to contest the jury because the rules were already laid out. He further mentioned that some unofficial sources informed the jury about the visor.

"The jury have someone monitoring equipment when they finish, they saw it."

Perrine completed the slalom race in the second position, 1.87 seconds behind Russia's Aleksandra Frantceva.

This would have increased the chance to win a medal as she reached into the Super-G category of the event.  

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