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from The Toronto Star

SALT LAKE CITY - A U.S. figure skating official has made an allegation of judging corruption in the controversial result of the pairs figure skating event Monday night, the International Skating Union's president said today.
ISU chief Ottavio Cinquanta said the allegations of improprieties came from referee Ronald Pfenning of the U.S.

He wouldn’t say what was alleged to have happened but did say it didn’t involve vote-swapping.

Asked if he was sure there was nothing amiss in the judging, Cinquanta replied, "I cannot guarantee this.”

In a press conference, Cinquanta denied that any future investigation could alter the result that gave the gold medals to Russians Anton Sikharulidze and Elena Berezhnaya and the silver to Canadians Jamie Sale and David Pelletier.

"I cannot change the result of the competition," Cinquanta told reporters.

But when interviewed later, the ISU chief seemed to leave the door open for a repeal of the result.

Asked if an appeal would change anything, he said it would be “very, very difficult” to change the result.

Cinquanta said his group will meet next Monday to talk about the judging decision and potential rule changes.

There has been speculation that the French judge voted for the Russian figure skating pair in order to guarantee a gold medal vote for the French ice dancing team, which competes on Sunday night.

Cinquanta rejected outright a request by the Canadian Olympic Association for an independent inquiry into the pairs decision, rather than the internal assessment that the ISU has announced.

Cinquanta said anyone who wants to can hire independent experts and send its report to the ISU.

"You can prepare if you wish 25 pages and hand it over…and submit it to the (ISU) Congress for a vote,” he said.

Cinquanta also appeared angry that the COA’s independent inquiry letter was given to the press.

"It’s an unusual system to give this to journalists,” he said, referring to a press release the COA gave out here that advised the media of its request.

"I’m very, very surprised at the contents of this letter. Why doesn’t the Canadian (figure skating) federation or the Italian federation or the French federation (hire experts to do a report). I’d be very curious to see their reaction.”

Cinquanta admitted he was “embarrassed” by the furor involving Sale and Pelletier.

“But I can tell you that I do not think to be in the presence of a … scandal. It was a very tough competition with performances on the same line. Nevertheless, I can admit that we have started an assessment. At this very moment, I am not in a condition to declare that we have abuse (by judges) and a clear situation that could permit me to confirm that there are elements for taking prompt investigation.”

Cinquanta said he stands by his judges, saying they’re all trained to do the best job they can. He also furiously denied reports that the order of finish for skaters in the upcoming ice dancing event had already been determined.

"I’d like to have you pass a test on judging figure skating and find out if you’re really qualified,” he told one reporter.

The COA was to hold a press conference of its own later today to respond to Cinquanta’s comments.


I am really amazed how a body so corrupt as the IOC can walk away and even has respectability and countries sucking up for their favours.

After the scandals with Sydney and Salt Lake City they should have removed the all the members, specially Samaranc or however you spell his name. With him in charge the olympics are losing all respectabilty and are becoming a joke. Not only all the members should be removed immediately, but also I think they should be prosecuted because their corrupted decisions have affected economic interests. Not only the top members survived one of the biggest corruptions scandals in sports history, but they are still in charge!!!.

The IOC is a total joke and I believe countries that are serious about their olympics sports should boycot the games until the actual president is gone and the IOC gives credible excuses.

A few months before I would have suggested that one big audit firm like Price or Ernst & Young should monitor the voting, as with the oscars but now, after the Enron scandals I feel they have lost all credibility as well.
 

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Devoted Capriati-Ite
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I'll show them a probe they won't soon forget!
 

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NeverWoz
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This is so true. The judges cannot be trusted to do their job. Now, every other north american skater is wondering whether they will get the results they deserve.

Gene Simmons, a canadian judge who judged the Salle/Pelletier skate, was furious! She proposed that judges should have their own federation. This would mean judges could be hired AND fired based on their credibility and performance.

If Bourne and Kraatz dont make it to the medal podium THIS time, I'm going to have something to say to those stupid @$$ european judges!!!!
 

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vivalaseles - what is your point? When Borne and Kraatz get blocked off the podium again - and they WILL, no matter how good or bad they skate - do you think anywill care that Germany voted with Canada in the pairs skating?

No - they'll just think Figure skating is more of a joke than ever.

So congrats to the ISU, who has successfully drained interest among its North American viewrs - many of whom will now think of Figure skating as the laughing stock of the olympics - myself in cluded.
 

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What a nice person you are, Becca..:)
You too, VivalaSeles..:)
 

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NeverWoz
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I just dont like that the skaters that deserve the medals dont get it. Judges are so immature, there worse then my brothers. Russia and France get medals in many other sports, why do they need to cheat to get one more?
 

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No, Becca, I won't take it back. I'll stand by it, by its meaning meant by me, not by someone's interpretation of my words.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Becca, it's not figure skating what is a joke, it's the olympics in general.

This scandal with the judges is minimum comparing with the bribes the IOC members received to give the games to Sydney and Salt Lake City, IMO, when that was discovered, both games should have been suspended and both cities banned for hosting the games for at least 20 years, or any other city involved in bribery.

They are so thirsty for money that they have turned the whole games into a show. Proffessional tennis, basketball and soccer players playing a sport that is supposed to be amateur, what a joke!

They even gave the 2008 games to Beijing only as a compensation for what happened in 2000. I don't know if Beijing deserved the games or not, but that was never on the table, Beijing had won just because the corrupted IOC thought they needed to give the chinese something after they were stolen before.

You can't blame the judges, if the head is infected, the whole body is in trouble, they have to get rid of that Samaranc of however his name is and NOW, and with consequences, he has turned an international event into a joke and he should pay for that.
 

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it's also interesting to see the "measures" the IOC took to avoid a repeat of the scandals. The members can't travel to the host city, pffff.

Are they banned to have numbered accounts in Switzeland? or to receive "gifts"?. How can you trust the decisions of a body whose members are all corrupt?, How is it possible that all those corrupted members are still there?

An Olympic gold medal worths it's market value, what the gold worths, nothing else since everything is a pathetic show IMO.
 

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Fingon - I agree with a lot of what you've said. These games have certaintly been ruined for me - just as they were before they began when the bribes became public.

Its supposed to be about sport and nations coming together - but its just all about money. :(


I am not sure I see anything wrong with professional athletes competing though.
originally the games may have been intended for amatures - but can someone who trains 365 days of the year for their respective sport really be considered an amature?
 

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If the Russians are classy, they'd give the medal up, that would really bring us back to the true Olympic spirit--the best one wins, and the competitors know who the best one was. But that's not realistic today because as much as the Olympics try to say otherwise, it is all about dollars, not there, but down the road. But I didn't see the competition, so who knows. Giving the medal up might actually prove more profitable for them because they'd get even more publicity. Who really remembers who won doubles in figure skating?

But did they fall once but otherwise outshined everyone with their other moves? Christie Yamaguchi fell during one of her final routines and still won the Gold, and I'm sure some of the other girls didn't fall. I once knew a low level golf pro who didn't stay on the tour long. He has no regard for "judged" sports--that's why he liked golf, and even followed tennis. It's not in the hands of a judge, it's your own performance that makes or breaks you. Of course, we have linesmen and the like, but it's not the same. When you have judges, there is some element of subjectivity. You don't have that in a lot of other sports.
 

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"But did they fall once but otherwise outshined everyone with their other moves? "

Well the Russian pair never actually fell. Anton stumbled and fudged his landing on the first side by side jump.
And Yelena didn't land her throws as smoothly as did Jamie.

Some feel the Russian pair outshone the Canadian pair with their artistry - something that I don't agree with.

The Russian artistic style has long been prefered and awarded by the judges over other styles.

This was no exception.
 
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