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Ski federation tweaks Olympic qualifying rules

Friday - 1/10/2014, 4:44pm  ET

Ted Ligety, of the United States, speeds past a pole during the first run of an alpine ski, men's World Cup slalom, in Bormio, Italy, Monday, Jan. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)

ANDREW DAMPF
AP Sports Writer

BORMIO, Italy (AP) -- The International Ski Federation tweaked its Olympic qualification rules Tuesday to allow racers like Ted Ligety and some high-profile Austrians to compete in the super-combined at next month's Sochi Games.

FIS secretary general Sarah Lewis told The Associated Press that instead of requiring at least three super-combi finishes over the qualification period of this season and last, it will allow downhill races to count.

"Due to the lack of super-combined races in the qualifying period it will be super-combined and/or downhill," Lewis said, adding that teams were being informed of the decision Tuesday.

Ligety has three downhills and one super-combi -- his gold-medal performance at last season's world championships -- in the qualifying period. Austrian skiers Anna Fenninger and Kathrin Zettel have also qualified under the new parameters.

However, Benjamin Raich has only two finishes in those events and needs one more before the Jan. 19 deadline.

Injured skiers will be dealt with separately.

Defending Olympic super-combi champion Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn have each been injured and also don't have enough finishes in super-combi, plus giant slalom and slalom -- with five finishes required for the technical events.

"They'll have to follow up their cases with our specialists for eligibility," Lewis said.

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