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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2006, 15:36 GMT
Miller sorry for hangover remark
Bode Miller takes on the slalom course in Kranjska Gora
Miller claims his comments were taken out of context
Top American skier Bode Miller has apologised for comments he made about skiing and drinking.

Miller was widely criticised after telling CBS programme 60 Minutes: "If you've ever tried to ski when you're wasted, it's not easy."

And following a meeting with the US Ski and Snowboard Association, he said: "The way I made those comments caused a lot of confusion and pain.

"I apologise to my family, friends and people who supported me along the way."

I had a great meeting with Bode in Wengen
Bill Marolt
US Ski and Snowboard Association chief

US Ski and Snowboard Association chief Bill Marolt had branded Miller's comments "unacceptable" and said they sent out a "dangerous, inappropriate" message.

But he was satisfied following the meeting with Miller.

"I had a great meeting with Bode in Wengen," said Marolt.

"I was struck by the concern he felt about the impact his comments had on his family, kids, and others who look up to him and that he took full responsibility for what he said."

Miller, 28, came under fire after telling 60 Minutes: "There have been times when I've been in really tough shape at the top of the course.

"It's like driving drunk, only there are no rules about it in ski racing."

We are looking forward to the Olympics and are sure Bode will do great things there
Sponsors Barilla pasta back Miller

Miller subsequently claimed his remarks were taken out of context and said he only raced with a hangover the day after celebrating his 2005 World Cup title.

Miller's sponsors backed their man, with Nike spokesman Dean Stoyer saying: "The story was more gracious than we were expecting after hearing all the hype.

"Obviously, Nike doesn't support drinking and skiing - the two don't mix. We certainly don't condone that nor recommend being under the influence and skiing."

Barilla pasta, who also sponsor Miller, said: "We are standing behind him. There is nothing else to say. We are looking forward to the Olympics (in February) and are sure Bode will do great things there."

Known for his all-or-nothing style of skiing, the New Hampshire native became only the second American man to win the overall title after Phil Mahre in 1982.

But off the piste, he has regularly tangled with skiing's authorities.

Miller has questioned why some performance-enhancing drugs are banned, and mentioned recreational drug use in an autobiography.

He claimed he was being targeted too frequently for drug tests earlier this season, and also threatened to quit the World Cup ciruit after being fined for failing to take a regulation boot test.

His most recent comments are particularly ill-timed as they come at a time when American ski resorts are tightening up their safety regulations after a number of high-profile accidents.

Alcohol bans and speed limits are just two of the measures being introduced across the country's ski areas in an attempt to cut accidents.




SEE ALSO
Miller in World Cup 'quit' threat
23 Dec 05 |  Winter Olympics
Miller seals overall men's title
12 Mar 05 |  Winter Sports
Miller seals world title triumph
11 Mar 05 |  Winter Sports


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