France: Investigators probing Michael Schumacher's accident on Wednesday ruled out faulty skis, inadequate signage and excessive speed as possible causes of his life-threatening off-piste fall in the French Alps. (Also read: Schumacher's wife urges media to leave family, doctors alone)
They said that signs marking the edge of the piste Schumacher skied off just before the accident on December 29 were in line with legal requirements, and said the Formula One legend had appeared in control of his speed. (Related: Slight improvement in Schumi's condition, says source)
Schumacher has been in a medically-induced coma since he fell on an off-piste section between two slopes in the ski resort of Meribel and slammed his head on a rock, prompting his evacuation to a hospital in the city of Grenoble. (Watch: Vladimir Putin tries his skills at ice hockey)
Investigators probing the accident are seeking to determine why it happened, and whether anyone -- the resort, the ski rental shop, Schumacher himself -- is at fault.
Patrick Quincy, the prosecutor in charge of the probe, told reporters at a press conference that rules determining how to mark the edges of ski slopes had been "respected" and that the racing driver had deliberately skied into the off-piste area. (Schumacher stable but still critical, say doctors)
Stephane Bozon, one of the policemen involved in the probe, said the skis were "not the cause of the accident" after speculation one of the safety releases on Schumacher's skis did not operate properly.
"Speed is not a particularly important element for us," Quincy added.