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  Friday, February 15, 2002

A picture named saltlake2002sm.jpgSale and Pelletier to be Awarded Gold in Pairs

The IOC's Court of Arbitration (CAS) has nailed the International Skating Union (ISU) to the wall this morning.  The CAS forced the ISU to finally resolve the issue of judging irregularities and misconduct in the Pairs Event. Also they have attempted to restore the "Fairness of the Games" by awarding an additional set of Gold Medals to Jamie Sale and David Pelletier of Canada, and allow Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze of Russia to keep their medal.

Jamie and David will be awarded their Gold Medals shortly. Rumors think it will be on Thursday Evening at the start of the Women's Long Program on Feb. 21.

The Problem has always been about the Judging and Not the Skaters.

The CAS also determined that French Judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne violated the IOC's Oath of Official Conduct and has been indefinately suspended by the ISU. However,  ISU president Ottavio "Speedy" Cinquanta said their investigation is not concluded yet.

Translation: The rest of the story is going to come out in Monday's ISU Executive Committee Meeting. (Do NOT let Speedy or the ISU sweep this under the rug-- the rest of the story must come out.) 

Ms. Le Gougne, the French judge has admitted that she was pressured by her own (French) federation to give the Russian pair the gold medal.

At this point there is no direct evidence the Russian Judge was involved.

More on this when I get a spare moment and the phone stops ringing.

-- For those of you emailing me: I will get back to you shortly.

News from the IOC in Salt Lake City:

Quote of the Day:  Drug tests for the athletes, and polygraph tests for the judges. 
(I'm clueless who said it. Email me if you know.)

3:12:37 PM    

And now a word from our sponsor-- 

I am in the middle of trying to work this site so it's arranged in some logical manner.  I'm going to be holding the main page stories for a week, especially the skating issue that are so hot right now.  Then archive them into the FIGURE SKATING section-- unless someone comes up with a better idea.

I'm also seriously considering FTPing the site to my domain.  Has anyone experience with this? I'd like to hear from you--

BTW-- The ISU Discussion Site is still disconnected.  I'm really beginning to wonder what's happening.

6:04:10 AM    

A picture named slc-ISUPressConf4.jpg
ISU President Isn't Helping Matters -
"Speedy Deserves a Cluetrain Award"
It is now four days after the results of the Pairs Event has tainted future of Figure Skating at the Olympics. Nothing has been done to formally investigate the charges and take action or vindicate the Judges who are accused of fixing the event. 
Ottavio Cinquanta, ISU President isn't helping matters.  Today he went on a media tour and was interviewed by Bob Costa on NBC this evening. Cinquanta playing the part of a consummate politician. Dubbed "Speedy" by many in the skating world, Cinquanta, has admitted he knows little about Figure Skating.  Hell Ken Lay of Enron probably knows more! But it's clear that Speedy's been sequestered in SLC a little too long, because it is apparent to nearly everyone,  that he's completely clueless how significant the charges of Judges fixing the Pairs event are to the "Sport of Figure Skating" and the IOC as well.
For God's sake-- someone wake him up!
For years, the governing body of the sport of Figure Skating (the International Skating Union, AKA the ISU,) has operated as if it is an exclusive club, similar to what the previous International Olympic Committee operated prior to it's recent scandal and shake up. Gaining admission to the upper levels of the ISU are difficult, if not impossible for many of the worlds skaters, who pay dearly, for their guidance and promotion of the sport.
The major problem is the ISU is a rather shy little club..  They prefer to operate out of the light of day. And trying to understand the Rules and Regulations of Figure Skating, is like trying to get the recipe to make an atomic bomb. You get hints of the requirements and -- but nothing is openly available to the public. However not knowing something could have deadly consequences, especially if you are a skater.
You see in the Wonderful World of Figure Skating, unless you know the secret handshake, or are heir to a spot on the ISU you get little or no information.  The public is looked down upon as if we are the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.
The ISU does not even put their Rules and Regulations on the Web for their MEMBERS or the public.  It's 2002 right?  We have nearly every IOC Document and Rule available online in TWO languages via Acrobat. Can't the ISU get off their fannies and put all of the ISU's Rules, Minutes and documents online?  Or are they afraid they will loose a buck or two by not selling a book?
Speedy is Clueless--
Cinquanta has done nearly everything to sidestep the problem with the judges-- he gave no real answers to Costa tonight. "It is very difficult. But anything is possible."  He told Costa. He is a perfect double-speak politician. (I would swear he's running for Governor of California.) However this type of posturing IS NOT what Figure Skating needs right now: We need an honest leader with backbone-- now!  Now, before Dick Pound and the rest of the IOC comes flying down on top of the ISU and axes Figure Skating from the Winter Olympics.  
Jeez! Doesn't Speedy get it?  Obviously not.
Cinquanta is taking too long, and he isn't going to get a chance to do it all his way, because tonight the Canadian Olympic Committee has officially requested the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to convene a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to look into the entire situation. So it appears Speedy's going to be a little late of the starting line, because the CAS is going to convene on Friday at 2 p.m. SLC-time. TODAY.
The CAS panel, who are made up of the top end of the Olympic Committee people (I believe they are elected athletes,) can (and probably will) demand the entire group of the 9 judges who were on the Pairs Event on Monday to testify to the panel. In Olympic circles, this is serious sh*t, because the CAS panel is a completely independent IOC group, and an International Court which handles the legal problems encountered by athletes. (The Judging problem in Pairs fits their scope of practice.)
The CAS panel has issued a notice for all the Pairs Event's Judges, Officials and Scorers to stay in town and bring all their notes and evidence to this meeting.
So this meeting is going to beat ISU President Cinquanta Monday meeting by a 3 days. The CAS Panel working with the IOC can force the ISU to do something. Speedy isn't going to be happy about that. The consequences of not listening to the IOC can kill Figure Skating as an Olympic sport. And Speedy, a former brash outspoken speed skater, isn't the type to listen. So don't expect the drama to die down over the weekend. If anything-- expect it to crank up the volume another notch or two.
Sorry-- but you've been warned. ... And Dance starts today. 
Email and Comments are welcome-- Click on the little yellow envelope on the left column.

5:25:51 AM    

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