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Olympic figure skating judging complaints rejected by ISU

Jun 5, 2014, 8:50 AM EDT

Figure skating AP

Two Korea Skating Union complaints over the women’s figure skating judging at the Sochi Olympics were separately deemed inadmissible and dismissed by the International Skating Union, which found no bias from a Russian judge.

The KSU’s first complaint called for an investigation of “the wrongful constitution of the panel of judges and the unjust outcome” of the Olympic women’s figure skating event, according to the ISU. Russian Adelina Sotnikova controversially won gold over 2010 South Korean Olympic champion Yuna Kim.

The first complaint demanded that “corrective actions” take place based on the outcome of the requested investigation.

It specifically mentioned Sochi Olympic judge Alla Shekhovtseva, who made headlines in the aftermath of the women’s free skate as being married to a top Russian figure skating federation official and was seen hugging Sotnikova shortly after she won gold.

“The complainants admonished the appointment of Alla Shekovtseva as a violation of the rule against conflict of interest and the code of ethics,” the ISU wrote.

A three-member ISU Disciplinary Committee panel ruled that Shekhovtseva was “neither biased nor partial to the Russian skater Sotnikova.”

Further, the complaint was deemed inadmissible because the ISU said it was not directed at an individual or a federation.

The second complaint, “dismissed” by the ISU, similarly called for an immediate investigation of “the judging composition and whether it was biased toward Sotnikova.” Again, Shekhovtseva’s husband and her mixed-zone embrace with Sotnikokva were cited, with this YouTube URL. The KSU wanted any and all available sanctions against the judge.

The judge’s marriage “may be reasonably viewed as suggesting allegiance to Shekhovtseva’s national federation and Russian athletes such as Sotnikova,” the KSU complaint read, according to the ISU.

Shekhovtseva described her embrace with Sotnikova in the ISU’s decision to dismiss the complaint:

“After the end of the Event I walked in the arena and had to stop at the mixed zone because the flower ceremony was going to start and the hall way was blocked by TV crews, ceremony stuff, skaters, and a lot of other people. Adelina Sotnikova was there. She was very excited and she was hugging everybody around whom she knew. This can be seen on the mentioned YouTube piece- that she ran to several people whom she knew. But this YouTube piece shows only 3-4 persons. In reality there were much more. For example, she was whipping of happiness on the shoulder of the Russian Assistant Team 5 leader for more than a minute before she approached me and this episode was shown a lot on TV including the closing ceremony video but was not shown on the mentioned YouTube piece. And as I said the skater was so excited that she was running to everybody whom she knew. She also approached me and embraced me. Of course, I congratulated her with her performance.”

The ISU said the second complaint was dismissed because it was submitted too late, more than 60 days after the women’s free skate in Sochi.

The ISU panel also said Shekhovtseva’s presence was not a conflict of interest because she and her husband were not on the same judging panel and pointed out that Sotnikova initiated the hug and that the embrace came while the judge was off duty.

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  1. fdsa7410 - Jun 6, 2014 at 7:36 AM

    ISU & Russian always keep making excuses. But look at what happened. Sotnikova beat YUNA. OMG. Is it possible? Who can believe that?

  2. psummers890613 - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Okay, so the girl was excited and running wild… And let’s say the girl approached Alla… She still should have had better way of handling the situation other than embracing the home athlete with open arms. That was Alla’s call to make and even though the competition was over, Alla was still a judge who has to stay objective. Honestly; the so called investigation ISU did seems to me like casual interviews which includes more disappointing excuses. The decision has mockery written all over it… I really hope KSU and KOC appeal the decision and also take this to CAS…

  3. llougheed1206 - Jun 7, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    You know what?? They think they can get away with robbery just because they think they hold power and run the show. Well, guess what? Without the audiences, how will they make money? Sure, for now ISU thinks they have enough support from the big guns like Russia or Japan or US, but think about the impact Yuna had on the prosperity of figure skating all these years… This was not the way to send her off at all… This whole thing was barbaric, selfish, and self destructive on ISU’s end. And IOC too for that matter – for overlooking/even supporting this blunt robbery and hiding behind ISU…

  4. jand031887 - Jun 7, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    This is not over. If they are so confident that there was no bias, why don’t they release the records of which judges awarded which scores? If they’ve investigated Alla, they should release her scores in their decision. ISU, please help us understand!!

  5. infinitepeace07 - Jun 9, 2014 at 7:09 AM

    You wrote that “The ISU said the second complaint was dismissed because it was submitted too late, “more than 60 days after the women’s free skate in Sochi.” but it’s wrong !!!
    Korea took many days to make decision but SUBMITTED IN THE PERIOD !!!

    • lazeks042186 - Jun 9, 2014 at 12:04 PM

      So sick of NBC putting WRONG INFORMATION out there!! Seriously!!

  6. scha030685 - Jun 9, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    KSU/KOC better appeal the decision and also appeal about the scores/result to CAS.

  7. efox770405 - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:05 PM

    Oh wow, NBC, are you kidding me? are you playing glitches on the likes&dislikes?? Last time I checked, the likes were over 100 on most of the comments. Scott, tara, johnny, and NBC… all of you have lost integrity when you decided to spread lies – one more triple, higher technical base value, 2A3T/3Lo, and Sotnikova technically superior????? Really? Scott, you yourself commented during the free program that it would be the GoEs that will decide the outcome. And then you suddenly got stuck with base value and one more triple nonsense. What about 2013 Worlds? Yuna had the exact same layout & elements and you didn’t mention Yuna was technically inferior with 6 triples back then. And It’s not that Yuna is completely missing a triple jump – Yuna just had a double jump instead which is just a difference of one revolution. And what about the short program? Yuna had a more technically challenging program with 3Lz-3T vs Sotnikova’s 3T-3T. And NBC, stop writing articles that defend ISU – Seriously, you will see one day that you had absolutely nothing to gain from bashing on the one figure skating legend who has kept the sport alive for the past 10 years.

  8. hleu901103 - Jun 11, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Of course, there’s no bias found because the thieves themselves brought the verdict upon themselves – this complaint really never had a chance. You know what? Has there been any scandal so widely recognized and strongly received by people? If people didn’t see any reasons or causes behind all this, they wouldn’t even care. But countless people worldwide see this as a huge scandal no matter how much ISU denies it and tries to disregard it as nonsense. We will never forget Sochi – not just because a likely favorite for gold was robbed, but because Figure Skating lost its essence of existence by giving in to money, power, and corruption. Oh, and NBC good luck with your broadcasting rights you bought from ISU – because Figure Skating lost its meaning of existence as a pure sport with your lies you (Scott, Tara, Johnny you hired to do the job) spread.

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