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USOC chief defends speedskating suits despite poor showing

By Matt Norlander | Staff Writer

The United States -- the country with the most medals in speed skating in Olympics history -- earned exactly zero at these Sochi Games.

The reasons for that are plenty, but the most controversial possibility remains in the Under Armour suits that the racers wore for some of the heats. Despite some skaters actually performing better in the suits, Under Armour took a publicity hit once the intial report on this came out.

An Associated Press report on Tuesday stated the United States Olymipc Committee's CEO stood up for the suits and made no excuse.

The head of the U.S. Olympic Committee has defended the speedskating suits that were dumped midway through the Sochi Games. CEO Scott Blackmun said Tuesday in a statement that "we are disappointed" by the performance of the U.S. team, which has yet to finish higher than seventh at these Olympics. ... Blackmun says "we do not believe the suits were the problem." He says companies such as Under Armour and Lockheed Martin provide necessary innovation.

Three speedskating events remain, on Wednesday and Saturday, with American Maria Lamb trying to reach the podium in the women's 5,000 meters on Wednesday.

The Netherlands have absolutely dominated speedskating at these Games, winning 19 of its 20 total medals by racing on ice. The United States and the Netherlands are tied atop the medals leaderboard heading into Wednesday.

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