The Swiss head of the International Ski Federation (FIS), Gian-Franco Kasper, is confronting calls for his resignation over controversial remarks on climate change and environmentalists.
Kasper said it was easier to deal with dictators than environmentalists in an interview with the Tages Anzeiger newspaper group last month.
He also made light of climate change pointing to the low temperatures at last year’s South Korea Winter Olympics.
The climate advocacy group Protect Our Winters slammed the 75-year-old “climate-denying dinosaur” on Twitter and issued an open letter calling for his resignation.
“The snowsports community demands climate action, and we will not tolerate those who dismiss science to remain in positions of leadership,” read the letter.
Calling the climate crisis “the most pressing issue of our time,” the letter notes that half of European glaciers have already melted forcing ski resorts to shut.
Kasper has since apologised saying his comments “were not meant to be taken literally but this was not clear in the final story.”
In an interview with the German ARD public television channel on Friday, he also blamed the Swiss newspaper of misquoting him.
However, the Tages-Anzeiger dismissed the allegations, publishing audio clips from the interview with Kasper.
swissinfo.ch with AP and SDA-ATS; ds/ug