Road To The Olympic Games

Alpine Skiing

Money dispute threatens Switzerland ski race's World Cup status

The signature Alpine skiing race in Switzerland risks being dropped from the World Cup schedule in a money dispute with the national ski federation.

Swiss body says it can’t 'meet financial demands' by organizing committee in Wengen

The signature Alpine skiing race in Switzerland could be dropped from the World Cup schedule following a money dispute with the national ski federation. The Saturday downhill typically attracts 30,000 spectators to the mountain in Wengen. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images/File)

The signature Alpine skiing race in Switzerland risks being dropped from the World Cup schedule in a money dispute with the national ski federation.

Organizers of the Lauberhorn men's downhill in Wengen traded statements with Swiss-Ski on Wednesday and confirmed their ongoing legal case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The public spat followed Swiss-Ski declining to propose the three-race Lauberhorn meeting in January 2022 on that season's World Cup calendar managed by the International Ski Federation.

The Swiss ski body said it "cannot meet the financial demands" made by the organizing committee in Wengen.

Because of the case at CAS, the federation said it limited its risk on the 2021-22 schedule by proposing a placeholder "Switzerland" designation instead of Wengen.

Saturday downhill draws 30,000 fans to mountain

Wengen has been a fixture on the men's World Cup since the debut 1967 season, and next January's races will be the 91st annual Lauberhorn meeting.

WATCH | Beat Feuz wins at Lauberhorn for 3rd time in 2020:

Switzerland's Beat Feuz wins the World Cup event in Wenen with a time of 1:42.53. 2:19

The Saturday downhill typically attracts 30,000 spectators to the mountain and one of Swiss television's biggest audience ratings each year. Swiss racers have won six of the last 11 editions.

Wengen officials said the dispute centres on its share of television rights from Swiss-Ski.

They criticized an "unsportsmanlike" approach of the national federation in withdrawing the calendar proposal without consultation.

The dispute has been aired publicly as Swiss-Ski leader Urs Lehmann, a former downhill world champion, is campaigning to be president of world governing body FIS.

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