Posted February 08, 2014

Skaters dismiss report claiming collusion between Russian, U.S. judges

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Meryl Davis and Charlie White (Harry E. Walker/Getty Images)

Meryl Davis and Charlie White were first in the ice dancing short program on Saturday. (Harry E. Walker/Getty Images)

American skating pair Meryl Davis and Charlie White were on the defensive Saturday night in Sochi after a report in the French magazine L’Equipe said a deal was in place between Russian and U.S. judges to help both country’s teams at the expense of defending Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada.

“That’s the first time we’re hearing that, so that’s unfortunate that there’s an article,” Davis told Gary Mihoces of USA Today. “But we’re so focused on our jobs, and we really don’t know a whole lot about anything else. I think we’re confident that what we’re putting out on the ice kind of speaks for itself.”

Added White: “We don’t really let any sort of external factors … play any sort of equation to what we’re doing or what we’re expecting. … We’re here to do our job, and it’s the Olympics.”

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The L’Equipe report, which was attributed to an unnamed Russian coach, said the deal was for the judges to help Davis and White win ice dancing, and for the Russian team to win pairs and the team event. Davis and White were first in the ice dancing short program in the team event on Saturday with 75.98 points, while Virtue and Moir, who the Americans train with, were second with 72.98 points.

“The best thing about being an athlete at the Olympic Games is that’s none of our concern,” Moir said. ” … Our goal is just go out there and kind of make a tribute to our career and the training we’ve done this year and make all Canadians and figure skating proud.”

Said U.S. Figure Skating director of communications Barbara Reichert in a statement: “Comments made in a L’Equipe story are categorically false. There is no ‘help’ between countries. We have no further response to rumors, anonymous sources or conjecture.”

A 2002 Olympic scandal involving Russia and Canada led the IOC to award a second pairs gold medal to the Canadian pair of Jamie Sale and David Pelletier.

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30 comments
MarkPost
MarkPost

I love how this is a French report when it was the French judge that caused the scandal the last time which was called out by the American and Canadian media.

ACLtoo
ACLtoo

Oh yeah, and the French SUCK!!!

ACLtoo
ACLtoo

Ice skating should be banned from the olympics.  You wear costumes not uniforms, you win by a judges bias opinion not by a measurable outcome, and you do not fight against an outside source flat smooth ice does not count.  It is art sure, or a dance performance, but in no way is this a sport.  If the correct application of make up gets you points.....smh.....

_rocktivity
_rocktivity

Though I am aware of the 2002 scandal, I don't believe this for a second -- Meryl Davis and Charlie White needing HELP winning? They're ranked #1 in the WORLD, and haven't finished worse than second since 2008!

mefoster86
mefoster86

If it's decided by judges, it isn't a sport.

Baldeagle
Baldeagle

I guess JOECOVE  is a fly on the wall at all the Olympics or is some kind of expert on everything Olympics..please state your qualifications sir? Listen to the Pot Calling the Kettle Black, I guess France has a short memory..does 2002 bring back any memories France? 

joecove
joecove

Olympics and World Cup are the most corrupt of any major posting events by a country mile. They are horribly mismanaged and top teams affect the tournament with back room deals regularly. If we only knew the half of what goes on it would turn us off for a long time. 

TomOatway
TomOatway

Everyone knows skating & gymnastics are rigged or politically scored, that's why they have no business being medal sports, athletes or not.

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

Skating is a performance art, not a sport. Despite their best 'attempts' to make some sort of 'objective' judging criteria, there is no way to keep this sort of thing out of the so-called competition. Remove it from the Olympics, please.

therednorth1
therednorth1

What I don't get is what the French have to gain from leaking this story.

busdriver37
busdriver37

This story is just silly. There's no need for judging collusion, as - if you have even watched the performances thus far - the "winning" performances have been very apparent and obvious even to laymen like me. 


And Meryl Davis and Charlie White have been consistently at the top of their game, and are the last people who would need judging "help" (unlike Berezhnaya and Sikhuralidze, who did) years ago. 


I give no credence to the story. And worse, if it's true, it's not just a disgrace but  oh so needless - this year's results, from what I've seen so far, are precisely what they should be. 

MP4
MP4

So far, I have yet to see any judging calls that I disagree with.  Will pay closer attention to all aspects of judges/judging now that this accusation has been made.  Hopefully, it is false.

MarkPost
MarkPost

@mefoster86  Most boxing matches are decided by judges.  So it's not a sport, right?

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@joecove In one sentence you make a claim about back room deals, citing no examples.  In the next sentence you state that you really don't know about any of this supposed irregular stuff.  Seems like you are just rambling.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@Joebuckster Agree on your point, but there is no way that the events that regularly draw the biggest ratings are going to be eliminated.

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

@therednorth1 its a French magazine, not the "French" themselves.... if the National Enquirer were to leak something, its not like others could reasonably say "the Americans" this or that... its just one publication

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@therednorth1  It was a French magazine reporting on a Russian source. Did you expect it to be reported from an American or Russian publication? Unfortunately it is the well-deserving Canadians that have been screwed, once again. What a disgrace...

joecove
joecove

@busdriver37  No credence to a judging scandal at the Olympics? Where has your head been buried? It is 2014, just in case you have lost track.

Shooter McGavin 19711
Shooter McGavin 19711

You admit to knowing very little, and you conveniently ignore the fact that the Canadians were marked WAY down. Yeah, you are CLEARLY objective in this matter...

(Sarcasm, since it will be WAY over your head...)

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@busdriver37  No need for collusion, you say - yet it's happened before and will happen again. And you are a layman, you say, but it is sooo obvious that there is no apparent collusion from the 'performances - from your perspective.


Great post, layman. Thanks for adding nothing to the discussion.

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

@JoeCabot @joecove while he doesn't really have any facts, its true... I think its safe to assume almost all of the "judged" competitions are corrupted at some level


MarkPost
MarkPost

@JoeCabot @Joebuckster  Men hate figure skating and women love figure skating.  Guess who watches the Winter Olympics more?  Stop your bellyaching about something that ultimately doesn't affect you.  You don't like it then don't watch it.  Wow, problem solved!

MarkPost
MarkPost

@Joebuckster @therednorth1  It was a French judge who screwed a Canadian team back in 2002.  It's payback because the Canadian and American media called them out.  You really need to research things before you spout off like an idiot.

KL55
KL55

@Shooter McGavin 19711  The Canadian pair was marked down because they made an obvious error.  Ms. Virtue got off balance on her twizzle move (a multi-rotational one foot turn) and had to make an awkward correction to save it which  is an automatic markdown from a required move in a short program.  Not only would that be obvious to the judges who examine everything in closeup on their monitors, but it was obvious to a normal viewer.

mkd09
mkd09

@Joebuckster @busdriver37  The 2014 judging panel for ice dancing pair is composed of Japan, China, Italy, Ukraine, Australia, Lithuania, Russia, Great Britain, and United States.  Overall a fairly balanced and experienced mix of judges.  No French judges so a repeat of 2002 is unlikely...although most experts agree the Russians were better in 2002 based on the scoring system used at the time. 


L'Equipe quoting an unnamed Russian judge as a source is the French version of Bleacher Report sourcing a story from tweets. 


So "Joe," please provide evidence of collusion so you can add something to the discussion...