Canadian Winter Olympics official hits back at ugly 'corruption' allegation

Sweden's gold medallist Nils van der Poel (pictured left) shocked after winning gold (pictured right) at the Winter Olympics.
The ice rink maker at the Beijing Winter Olympics has hit back and denied he has allowed favourable conditions for a team after Sweden's gold medallist Nils van der Poel (pictured left) made strong accusations. (Getty Images)

Written by Riley Morgan. This story originally appeared on Yahoo Sport Australia.

The ice maker at the Beijing Winter Olympics Games has hit back at allegations of 'corruption' over how the rink has been made to favour the Dutch team.

Swedish Olympic gold medalist Nils van der Poel sparked uproar this week after accusing the Netherlands speedskating program of "corruption".

Van der Poel's victory in the 5,000 metres gave Sweden its first speedskating medal since 1988, in a sport that is often dominated by the Dutch.

However, the Swede has been left fuming over a report that claims Dutch officials try to influence the ice makers to set up conditions that benefit their own athletes.

Van der Poel said he had read an article on a Dutch website that suggested the world's strongest team is using a scientist to try to make sure the Ice Ribbon oval is set up to its advantage.

The Swedish star lashed the reports during a scathing press conference at the Olympic Village, three days after winning gold.

"This isn't my idea of fair play," van der Poel said.

"The Olympics is higher, stronger, faster. This is corruption. This is trying to alter the field of play in your favour by using unethical and immoral means."

Ice maker hits back at Winter Olympics accusations

Following the strong accusation, ice maker Mark Messer hit back and rubbished any report the Dutch team had any favourable conditions.

He also referred to the the article that showed pictures of Dutch team scientist Sander Van Ginkel talking to him and testing the rink, which he shut down.

"The actual conversation that goes with that picture is me telling him not to come back, because I'm not going to tell him anything that I'm not going to tell every other country. But they have twisted this around," Messer said, according to Reuters.

Calgary's Mark Messer (pictured) taking a photo on the ice at the Olympics.
Calgary's Mark Messer (pictured) has hit back at the ugly allegations at the Winter Olympics. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

"It's my reputation on the line ... I'm very upset with this story and the way it's developed," added the ice maker, who is based at the Calgary Olympics Oval and has worked at six Olympics.

The technical director of the Dutch skating association Remy de Wit said his team believed in fair play and he did not think their scientist had any influence over the ice.

"Our scientist is here to make sure we have the right knowledge about the ice that has been made by the ice-makers," he said.

"I can understand that the words (in the article) could be interpreted in an unlucky way. They could have been chosen differently. I am not responsible for what's written in those articles."

With Reuters

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