U.S. speedskaters are frustrated as they search for answers after coming short in another Olympic race Saturday.

SOCHI, Russia - U.S. speedskaters wore different skin suits, but the results were the same. No medals in the men's 1,500 meters. Not even close. The question is why. "It's really hard to pinpoint," said U.S. long track coach Ryan Shimabukuro. "We have five different training programs, five different coaches, different training locations, and we're coming up short, to say the least. It's frustrating. It's very confusing." U.S. Speedskating hoped to leave controversy in the rearview mirror, but the organization is now at the center of a firestorm that began after the program's top three skaters finished no higher than seventh in their best distance - the 1,000 meters - near the beginning of the 2014 Olympics. "It wasn't really a big thing until after Heather (Richardson) and Brittany (Bowe) finished, and then things kind of blew up," said Brian Hansen, who was the highest-placing American Saturday with a seventh-place finish in the 1,500 meters. Speculation about whether the new high-tech skin suits created by Lockheed Martin and Under Armour were actually slowing athletes down went wild. The suits underwent 300 hours of wind tunnel testing, but were never used in competition before the Sochi Games. "We wanted to keep the suit a secret in case other people found out about it and had time to switch their technology, and so I understand that," said Brian Hansen. "But at the same time, we lose the experience of racing with it. And for something like the Olympics, that's difficult." Both athletes and coaches admit they don't know if the suits are slowing the athletes enough to even make a difference. In most cases, the athletes are skating faster times than they did in Sochi last year. They're just slower than the winners. Still, U.S. Speedskating talked to the athletes about the issues, and most said they'd rather go back to the skin suits they wore in the World Cups if for no other reason than they felt more comfortable and confident in them. Hansen, who wanted to abandon the new suits, blamed his failure to medal Saturday on bad strategy, noting that he was "within spitting distance" of the podium. Hansen finished in 1:45.59, while the gold medalist, Zbigniew Brodka of Poland, crossed the line in 1:45.006. He edged silver medalist Koen Verweij of the Netherlands by three-thousandths of a second. Denny Morrison of Canada was third with a time of 1:45.22. U.S. star Shani Davis, who skated with Brodka, finished 11th with a time of 1:45.98. Questions about the suits remain, but the attention turned Saturday to the team's pre-Olympic camp at an outdoor rink in Collabo, Italy. Hansen's coach, Nancy Swider-Peltz Sr., said she felt the problem was the camp and the multitude of changes just before the games. "But I think we had something to battle that should have not have been in that mix," she said of Hansen's struggles. "And the problem was Collabo. We came from lowland and three weeks before an Olympics, you don't make that drastic of a change - changing altitude, changing ice, changing wind, changing coldness, throwing in a new skin, throwing in some other factors that should not have been thrown in. You don't throw a kitchen sink of stuff at kids, anybody, right before the Olympics." Shimabukuro defended the decision to train in Collabo. "I'm going to squash this right now," Shimabukuro said. "We used the same setup for the Collabo camp going into Torino with a lot of success, including Shani Davis. No. 2, there are other countries, other teams who were in Collabo at the same time and they are having success here." Additionally, he said a postcamp meeting with all of the private coaches who work with athletes was positive, with everyone feeling like the camp was productive. "When it comes to the suits and Collabo, I don't personally agree with that," Shimabukuro said. Unfortunately, the speculation about what's to blame has created additional stress for athletes already reeling from disappointment. Hansen called it "craziness" and said just knowing issues were being discussed was stressful. Davis said the general feeling is negative, and that's not conducive to success. "The energy was really bad," Davis said. "I try to do the best I can, so many things going on with what's going on with this, what's going on with that, what's going to happen here. And like I said, I really try not to make excuses for my performances, but I think if we could eliminate all those distractions, I could have just put that energy into performing and skating. It would have been a totally different outcome." Shimabukuro said that ultimately performance comes down to him as a coach and the athletes as competitors. "I will take accountability for my athletes' performance before I blame anything else," he said. "If I didn't do my job and get the athletes ready optimally for this competition that's on me. ... I keep hearing that skaters who train in Salt Lake City have underperformed at sea level. Where are they getting those stats? Tucker, Heather, Shani, Brittany have set track records all over the world at sea level. They did it this year. ... So where people are getting this information from, they're getting it from a pothead." While he acknowledges that pinpointing problems has been challenging, he said so is trying to find a winning formula. "Success is even harder to figure out," he said. "It goes both ways, and if you're not ready to take the bad with the good, you shouldn't be in this position." Shimabukuro said all he can do is offer the athletes support and encouragement. The men still have the team pursuit and the women have the 1,500 and the team pursuit. "It's brutal," he said of the situation. "My heart bleeds for the skaters because I know how much they put in and I know how much momentum we've had coming into these games. The support we've had not only to the Olympic committee and our sponsors and our families, obviously, to be in the situation we're in right now, it's devastating. But skaters all still go to the line, chin up, ready to give their best effort every time. I think they're champions for doing that."%3Cimg%20src%3D%22http%3A//beacon.deseretconnect.com/beacon.gif%3Fcid%3D145919%26pid%3D46%22%20/%3E