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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

Responses, Part 3
What do you think about the ISU's decision to award Salé and Pelletier gold medals on Friday? Will this help figure skating's image?

Here are responses to the above question:

No, it will have little in the way of helping the ISU image. The damage has already been done. The bottom line is judges have been influenced to vote in a certain way. It only reinforces what has been known in ice dancing for many years.
Osama Aboul-Magd

The right decision was taken. However, the ISU did not make the decision, it was the IOC. The ISU should be removed from all responsibility when the Olympics are concerned. Judges should be pooled and not announced until an hour or so before the event, further it should be up to a Olympic committee to decided who will judge a n event.
Alan Burns

I am happy but I think that the decision should also have been overturned, after all the Russians did make a mistake. Judging must be watched with an eagle eye from now on to make sure that this does not happen again.
N. Grand-Landau

It does not take a rocket scientist to see how the French judge is being left out to dry. Why is the IOC finally stepping in now. What about all of the other sports with subjective judging. They should definitely use different judges for tonight's ice dancing competition.
Conley Forey

At this point this seems like the best compromise to an ugly situation. The Russian pair, while perhaps not deserving of the Gold, should not be penalized for corrupt judging and politics. Jamie and David do deserve the Gold and by issuing them a belated award that will stand as a public acknowledgment of the injustice done to them. As far as the image of figure skating, that remains to be seen. If politics and corruption continue to be the norm, then the image will continue to suffer. However, if suitable penalties are imposed on judges who admit to or can be proven to have acted improperly (Cheers for suspending the French Judge!!!), then maybe the image of the sport will improve over time. At this point it needs to prove itself in the eyes of the world.
Terri Nicholson

The awarding of the gold medal to Sale & Pelletier at this point is irrelevant. It's like giving your child a treat to get them to stop crying. I also feel bad for the Russian pairs team with having to deal with the knowledge that they won the gold based on other people's politics and not based on their performance. How embarrassing this must be for them. I don't believe this gesture of awarding the medal to Sale and Pelletier (although deserved) is going to help the image of figure skating at all. How can one be certain that something like this does not happen again in any competition based on judges' decisions.
D.M. Harwood

Excellent news. I've always felt that there was collusion among many of the European judges and this certainly confirms it.
Pete Carell

The gold medal awarded to the Russians was not honourably won. This is clearly evident by the admission of the judges themselves. Valentin Piseyev, president of the Russian Skating Federation, said: "You have to be able to honorably accept defeat," he added. "And if you haven't learned it yet, then learn it." What Piseyev needs to learn is the difference between an honourable victory and a dishonourable victory.
Ross Evans

The only thing that will help the image of figure skating is if they get to the bottom of this. It seems to me the French judge is getting all the blame when their was four judges cheating. The ISU would not have given the gold to Canada if the IOC hadn't put the pressure on them ,now it is time for an independent investigation of the ISU.
Grant Rankin
Pictou, NS

I think it proves that the ISU is a decent organization, but it doesn't hide the fact that there is corruption deep in the judging system. The only way to fix this problem is to have 20 judges on hand at the Olympics, and randomly tell them which event to judge.
Jeff Freeman

The decision won't help the image; it will only help to push the problem out of the public's minds - until next Olympics. The problem isn't the medal or the skaters, it's the judges and the coaches who coerce the judging. Expel the coach! Reform the judging by removing the identity of the judge or their country from the score. It shouldn't matter what country or judge voted a certain way. Secondly, of the nine scores, have a computer randomly select 6 that will count. If - and that's the questionable word - IF the judges are fair, then the random scores would not make a significant difference in the outcome and would make a huge significance in removing the ability to influence, coerce or "arrange" an outcome. As for the French judge: If she is as "emotionally fragile" as her own federation claimed, then ban her from judging, until she can grow up. As for the judge who "pressured" her, ban him or her from not just judging BUT from ever attending an Olympic event - even a non-skating event. This kind of punishment is worthy of the blackeye these "crooks" have given both the skating and Olympics.
Dan Knight

I don't think there was much of a choice but for the Canadian pair to be awarded gold medals. My question is how long will the French judge be suspended for? I believe that I have read recently that the judge that was suspended after the Nagano problem, was only suspended for 1 year. And that he is back judging Ice Dance. Who's to say he won't be back to his old tricks?
Ginger Otter
 Part 2 All responses Part 4 

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