Olympic figure skating judging complaints rejected by ISU
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:
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.