8 Feb 2011

Olympic organisers warned fatal luge track too fast

10:01 pm on 8 February 2011

The head of Vancouver's Olympic Committee is defending measures taken to ensure the luge track was safe for the 2010 Winter Games.

Officials reportedly knew the track at Whistler in British Colombia was unsafe a year before a Georgian athlete died during a practice run, the ABC reports.

Nodar Kumaritashvili, 21, lost control of his sled at an estimated 145km/h and was killed when he flew off the track and slammed into a metal pillar.

Canada's public broadcaster CBC has obtained an internal email which shows OIympic officials were warned a year before the Games by the International Luge Federation that the track was too fast and that someone could get hurt.

The head of the Olympic Committee, John Furlong, said in an internal email that meant the case could be made that officials were warned and did nothing.

Mr Furlong insists his internal email was to ensure that organisers did everything possible to make the track safe.