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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Official Cites 'Blackout' as Cause of Ski Crash

SIERRA NEVADA, Spain -- A race official had a "blackout" when he skied into the path of a Russian downhiller and caused a high-speed training crash at the Alpine skiing world championships, officials said Thursday.

International Ski Federation spokesman Christian Knauth said U.S. official Harald Schoenhaar was very depressed after Wednesday's crash during women's downhill training when he and Russian skier Tatyana Lebedeva both broke their legs.

"He says he had a blackout and is very depressed," Knauth said.

Lebedeva, 22, underwent an operation on her lower right leg at a hospital in the nearby southern Spanish town of Granada on Wednesday evening, FIS said. Schoenhaar was flown to Germany on Thursday for an operation on his left leg in Munich.

"There were no complications with the Lebedeva operation," the FIS said in a statement. "The shin bone was fixed with a plate and screws. Her hand fracture has been put in plaster."

FIS chiefs have accepted full responsibility for what they called the "complete idiocy" of the race official.

Thursday's third official training for the women's downhill at the Alpine skiing world championships was called off because of poor weather.

Organizers said overnight snow had fallen in the Spanish resort and visibility was poor on the mountain.

"The morning session has been called off but we hope to have men's downhill training this afternoon," a spokeswoman said.

The women's downhill combined event takes place Friday with the individual downhills for men and women Saturday and Sunday respectively.