LAKE LOUISE, Alberta (AP) – World Cup skiing champion Bode Miller intensified his criticism of the starting procedures for downhill events on the eve of the season’s first race, calling the method “ridiculous” and “confusing” on Friday

This year, the fastest 30 skiers in the final scheduled training session start in reverse order in the race. If the final scheduled training run is canceled, the International Ski Federation (FIS) will start skiers in the reverse order of the World Cup starting list, which is based on the FIS rankings from the past year.

“The guy who wins the training run should choose his start position; the guy who finishes second should choose second,” Miller said.

In past years, the FIS determined the starting positions in reverse order of the last completed training run, requiring leading contenders to ski tactically each time in an attempt to get the start number they wanted and avoid being last among the elite group of 30, should bad weather wipe out later training runs.

“This is a perfect example of the way the FIS operates on a regular basis,” the 28-year-old American said. “They make the most ridiculous rules about things that make no sense, and then they leave the things that are blatantly right in their face unaddressed.”

Miller repeatedly has clashed with the FIS, threatening to endorse a rebel circuit and calling anti-doping regulations ineffective and useless.

“I don’t think they like to listen to ideas or logic,” he said. “It’s one of the most confusing and ridiculous things I think they can do in professional sport.”

Norwegian veteran Kjetil Andre Aamodt had the fastest time in Friday’s training on the Olympic course, 1 minute, 40.39 seconds, meaning he will start 30th Saturday.

Four-time overall champion Hermann Maier of Austria was second in 1:40.67. France’s Antoine Deneriaz, returning from injury, crossed third in 1:40.78.

Miller was the fastest in the two middle intervals but stood up and zigzagged down the final section hoping for a start number between 11 and 15. Instead, he crossed fifth in 1:41.12 so will start 26th.

World Cup director Guenther Hujara said FIS uses training run times to determine starting order to give skiers a tool to help decide when they want to start.

But following Miller’s comments, Hujara said the FIS will consider alternatives.

“I think we’ve seen so many discussions about the right way to do start positions. Now many people are dealing with it,” Hujara said, addressing coaches at a team captain’s meeting Friday evening. “I ask you to try and think it over and submit proposals to what you think is the best way. We will work on this through the whole winter.”


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