U.S. blames speed skating suits for poor performance: Report

Shani Davis of the U.S. looks at his time after competing in the men's 1,000-metre speed skating...

Shani Davis of the U.S. looks at his time after competing in the men's 1,000-metre speed skating race during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Feb. 12, 2014. (PHIL NOBLE/Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:49 PM ET

The Americans' poor speed-skating performances at the Sochi Olympics are being blamed on -- wait for it -- their racing suits.

The team announced Friday they are ditching the suits for those worn during recent World Cup events

U.S. officials have told the Wall Street Journal the suits, designed by Under Armour and predicted to create a competitive advantage for Shani Davis and other American stars, are in fact doing the opposite.

Davis fared poorly, finishing eighth in the 1,000-metre race, and the women's race was forgettable, too, leading coaches to examine what had gone wrong -- and they put the blame on the skintight body suits.

America is usually strong in speed skating, and Davis, for one, isn't shirking the criticism.

"I would like to think that it's not the suit," he told The Journal. "I would never blame the suit. I'd much rather blame myself. I just wasn't able to do it today, but other people were."

Vents on the back of the suit, The Journal reported, are designed to let heat out but are also letting air in, creating a drag that's forcing skaters to alter their form.

An Under Armour official told the newspaper he has confidence in the suits but would "move heaven and earth to make them better."

Click to enlarge and open in new window

Photos