This season, the Romanian ski jumpers missed the Four Hills Tournament without any official reasons. Athletes being suspended from the team for speaking up. Coach Florin Spulber to be accused of violence. Fans asked what is happening in the Romanian team.
We talked with Eduard Torok about the actual situation in Romania.
Newsskijumping (NSJ): The Four Hills Tournament drew the attention to the situation in Romania. What was the reason that you could not start at the 4HT even though you were already on the spot?
Eduard Torok (ET): So, when at COC in Engelberg I found out that I have to jump really well to take part in 4 Hills. That was a thing of the moment because we have proof how Florin says: “WE ARE GOING 100% IN 4HILLS”, earlier that month. I called Paul Ganzenhuber and decided to meet with him in Austria, to talk/train. We got there, explained what has actually happened. He says that he does not understand why our entries were cancelled because we would have been taking part only to represent Romania not expecting good results. Anyway, we decided to go train with him, we went to Garmisch, trained, took the picture and explained what happened on Facebook, fact that our federation didn’t really like.
NSJ: After the incident at the 4HT, you decided to go public and therefore were suspended. What were your thoughts about the procedure of the ski federation?
ET: It is their choice. They told me that I have to choose: either continue to jump in the next 6 COC and then “we’ll see” or to go and sustain my exams. They fully agreed with my exams at the beginning of December, I don’t know what has changed. I didn’t really have a choice as my exams dates cannot be changed, fact that they ignored even though they knew about it. In this context, it didn’t really affect me.
NSJ: You mentioned that you were mistreated by the ski federation more than once in the past. Can you give examples for this?
ET: We should have been in 4 Hills in Innsbruck in 2013/2014 season. We were trial jumpers instead. The reason back then that we were too young. Plus, a lot of promises that have not been respected, from training conditions to clothes or even money.
NSJ: Some days ago Iulian Pitea accused your coach Florin Spulber of violence. Can you summarize what happened in Kranj in 2015?
ET: Briefly, Iulian and Florin had an argument over his kilograms. Florin lost control and punched him. I heard them shouting, I entered the room, Iulian was still fine, Florin and the other trainers asked me to leave. I left and Iulian wanted to come right after. That’s the moment when I head a scream and then Iulian came out bleeding.
NSJ: Was it the only time that he turned violent against you or other athletes?
ET: No, he is an impulsive and choleric person. However, this is the worst case. The others were light in comparison to this. I can’t exemplify exactly because I was just a witness and probably the other athletes do not want to say anything.
NSJ: After the incident: Did you tell the federation what happened and what was their reaction?
ET: They knew, they did nothing. NOTHING has changed after the incident. Only a lot of promises.
NSJ: Do you still have contact with the Romanian federation and do you plan to take proceedings against them?
ET: No I don’t have any contact. They refused to answer my calls back in Engelberg/Garmisch. Personally, I will not do anything against them, I will just make public everything that I know and can prove.
NSJ: What are your thoughts about the ski jumping situation in Romania especially when you consider that young athletes still have to work with Spulber?
ET: I wish them good luck really. Probably a little disappointed as they don’t say anything. I was like that at their age, now I regret it. If nothing changes again, they will too, perhaps.
NSJ: Do you want to return to ski jumping or did the current situation change your plans for the future? If you do not want to return to ski jumping: Do you already know what you want to do next?
ET: At the moment, I am studying in England. No future plans with Romanian Ski Jumping Team yet, unfortunately as there is NO support for me doing it while at university in another country.
Newsskijumping has contacted the Romanian Ski Federation, however, they did not comment the case yet.
Pictures: Newsskijumping | Iulian Pitea’s archive