Man indicted for fixing 2002 Olympic figure skating has ‘life of luxury’
Russia is providing a safe haven for the man indicted for fixing pairs figure skating at the 2002 Olympics and other criminal activities, according to ABC News.
Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, a 65-year-old man described as a Russian mafia boss, has an Interpol arrest warrant yet lives a life of luxury.
“Frankly, there’s not much that we can do unless he voluntarily decides to show up at [New York’s] JFK [airport] one day,” said FBI agent Mike Gaeta, according to ABC.
Tokhtakhounov was indicted by a federal grand jury in New York in 2002 for allegedly fixing the pairs competition at the Sale Lake City Olympics using bribes and threats.
Tokhtakhounov, known by the nickname “Little Taiwanese,” has denied wrongdoing. The FBI is still keeping tabs on him, according to the report.
What happened at the 2002 Olympics changed figure skating forever.
In the pairs competition, Russians Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze were attempting to keep a Soviet Union/Unified Team/Russia gold-medal streak going that dated to 1964.
The Russians won gold over Canadians Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, by a 5-4 judges vote.
The next day, a French judge reportedly said she was pressured by the head of France’s figure skating federation to vote for the Russians. Duplicate gold medals were awarded to Sale and Pelletier in light of the findings with a second, awkward medal ceremony.
The French judge later issued a denial and said she believed the Russians deserved to win.
The other part of the fix was to include a Russian judge voting for a French ice dance team later in the Olympics. Tokhtakhounov reportedly hoped this would help him with a French visa.
The fallout helped lead to an upheaval in figure skating scoring and the trashing of the 6.0 system in favor of today’s code of points.
Tokhtakhounov does not plan on attending the Sochi Olympics.
“It’s too cold,” he told ABC. “I’ll be watching the Olympics on my TV at home in the warm.”