Olympics: Injured bobsleigh worker ‘stable’, track not blamed

SOCHI, Russia - The bobsleigh track worker injured when a sled smashed into him is in a stable condition after an operation, the Sochi Olympics organisers said Friday, emphasising that the track was not to blame.

The Russian icemaker, who has not been named, was hit on Thursday by the forerunner bob which is used to clear and test the track. He was hospitalised and underwent an operation.

"The operation went smoothly. He is conscious. Right now he is stable. He is in a good condition," said Sochi 2014 spokeswoman Alexandra Kosterina.

She declined to give further details about the nature of his injuries, following reports that he sustained two broken legs.

The worker was standing on the track even though the warning light was on that signals that the track is in use, she told reporters, adding it was too early to say why.

"We are still looking into what exactly happened there."

"It is premature to say why he was on the track after the alert light went on.

"It is not linked to the safety of the track. The alert system was in place, we are looking into why he was there when the alert went on," she said.

The head of the Sochi organising committee Dmitry Chernyshenko said that the track is "absolutely safe" and of the "highest possible standard".

Gilbert Felli, the International Olympic Committee's executive director for the Games added: "It seems that it is nothing concerning the safety of the track but we are waiting for the end of the inquiry to see exactly what did happen."

The accident came four years after the tragic death of 21-year-old Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili in a crash during a training descent at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Despite the accident at the Sanki luge and bobsleigh track outside Sochi, racing took place Thursday evening on schedule with the luge team competition.