Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sochi Figure Skating Scandal: What's Next? A Possible Agenda To The Next Stage

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•  Thomas, a Yuna fan from Canada, posted some practical suggestions for millions of fans out there and I believe his comment deserves its own post.  FYI, I have run Internet searches for the contacts we can email, write, or fax to, which you can find as you scroll down.

S*****e, no offense, but no one really knows how much chance we have in this. The 2002 case is very different because one of the judges broke down in front of several eyewitnesses and admitted that she cheated. One of the eyewitnesses was the event referee, who later filed an official complaint. No one broke down this time and no “insider” with integrity has stepped forward so far.

Also, the judging system back then wasn’t anonymous, and so it was much easier to spot the cheater. This time around, even though we know as a fact that two judges in the short program gave Adelina inconsistently high component scores and Yuna inconsistently low ones, we don’t know who those judges are. Likewise for the judge who gave Adelina almost all +3 GOE’s in the free program.

So I think the more important questions are “what” and “why”. What are our goals here? For me there are two:

1. The best outcome is Yuna and Adelina both get a gold medal. Let’s just admit that there is no way IOC will strip anyone of a gold medal, let alone a Russian woman figure skater. This may mean that our focus should be to demonstrate that Yuna has been underscored, not that Adelina has been overscored. I’m not sure what it means in practical terms or how achievable it is though.

2. Failing that, I would be content, but not happy, if we could get ISU to change the scoring system. The scoring system CANNOT be anonymous, and there has to be accountability with checks and balances in place. Also, with all the technologies we have available today, it’s really easy to implement some sort of challenge-and-instant-review system. Even the NFL has this.


WHY are you doing this? Why are you fighting this uphill battle? It’s so much easier to just say stuff like “Yuna will always be the real gold medalist”, “She will always be the Queen in my heart”, etc., and just let all of this slide. I’ll be honest, it’s really tempting for me to just let all of this go. I’m not Korean, and I’m not even a skating fan, but I was truly mesmerized by her performances in 2010, and I was equally mesmerized by her this time around. She is indeed without equal. I’m doing this because:

1. I’m angry. Letting the ISU get away with this is like seeing someone robs an old lady in broad daylight and not do something about it. I can’t believe they have the audacity to cheat so blatantly in this day and age with videos of the performances replaying all over the internet. As if they think we are all blind and ignorant. As if we don’t have access to slow-motion videos replaying side-by-side.

2. I’m angry. I see some comments of people saying Yuna lost because her program was “simple”, because she didn’t have the motivation to win. This is an insult to Yuna. Just because Adelina struggled through her programs doesn’t mean Yuna’s programs were simple. She is just so good that she made it look effortless. And would anyone without motivation go through all the injuries and hard work to come back to the Olympics to defend her title? Seriously? No matter how stoic she appears to be, I have to believe she’s devastated inside, even if she is indeed feeling relieved at the same time that all of this shenanigan is now over.

3. Above all, I want justice! I am Canadian, and I was very disappointed that Virtue and Scott got a silver medal instead of a gold, but the American team was very, very good as well. I can accept that Virtue and Scott lost fair and square. But Adelina didn’t even come close to Yuna! And to think that had Yulia not fallen in both programs, Yuna would very, very likely have gotten a bronze instead…

HOW: Now the interesting part, how? What can we do? I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Without any of the judges or referees stepping up and doing the right thing, our situation is worse than the 2002 case. The only leverage we have is numbers. We need to have lots and lots of people with perseverance, and we can’t afford to sit and wait for someone else to do something. Here are some things I can think of or have read somewhere else. Please add anything you can come up with.

1. Make lots and lots of noise for as long as it takes

(1) Email a link to this blog post to any media outlets you can think of. NBC, CNN, CBC, BBC, etc. 

International Sports Federations:
New York Times Editor:
Bill Plaschke (LA Times):
TIME Magazine (editor):

(2) Email ISU to demand an investigation.
 ISU has taken down their “Contact Us” web page but I found their email address somewhere else. It’s

(3) If you have a fax machine, fax a letter to ISU.
(4) If you have an extra stamp and envelope around, send them a good old-fashioned mail. 

ISU:  Chemin de Primerose 2, 1007 Lausanne, Switzerland (address)
       +41-21-612-6666 (phone) / +41-21-612-6677 (fax)

(5) Contact KSU and KOC to demand that they take action.  
Could someone post the relevant email addresses, fax numbers, physical addresses, etc. please?

Olympic Center, 424 Olympic-Ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul 138-759, South Korea (address) (email)

Room No. 607, Olympic Center, 88 Bangyee-Dong, Songpa-Ku, Seoul 138-749 (address) / (email)  
+82-2-422-6165, +82-2-418-6322 (phone) / +82-2-423-8097 (fax)

Any chance we could get some of the “influentials” to help with our cause? I’m referring to experts such as Katarina Witt and Kurt Browning who disagree with the results. I don’t know who receptive they will be, but at least we can try. Perhaps try contacting them on FB? Does anyone have a complete list of such people?

John Alastair Kerr:

I don’t know whether this makes a difference or not, but perhaps we should get as many non-Koreans as possible to do this as well? I wonder how many people are dismissing this whole scandal because they think it’s just the Koreans whining about a Korean figure skater losing the gold medal.

2. Hit ISU where it hurts

ISU is the governing body of skating, but who governs the ISU? IOC? An update to the petition says that some people have been contacting the Ethics Commission of the IOC, but I can’t seem to find their email address. Does anyone have it? If not, fax/mail/call, whatever it takes.

The Ethics Commission is the guardian of the ethical principles of the Olympic Movement. These principles are set out in the Code of Ethics

Guardian of the ethical principles

The Ethics Commission was created in 1999 by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in order to safeguard the ethical principles of the Olympic Movement. These principles are set out in the Code of Ethics. 
This independent Commission is made up of nine members including a majority of personalities who are not part of the Olympic Movement.

Nine Members of the IOC Ethics Commission:

The Ethics commission is defined in Rule 22 of the Olympic Charter. Its composition and organisation are stated in its Statutes. It composed of nine individuals, no more than four of whom are IOC members and at least five prominent personalities known for their independence of spirit, their competency and their international reputation. It always includes a representative of the IOC athletes’ commission.


Youssoupha NDIAYE
Chairman of the Ethics Commission, IOC
Villa du Centenaire,
Avenue de l'Elysée 28, 1006 Lausanne, Switzerland (address)
+41-21-621-6381 (fax)


Claudia BOKEL, German épée fencer and member of the International Olympic Committee

Thomas BUERGENTHAL, Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence
2000 H Street, N.W, Washington, DC 20052, USA (address)
+1-202-994-6120 (phone)

Guy CANIVET, President of Constitutional Council
2 rue de Montpensier 75001 Paris, France (address)

José Luis DICENTA BALLESTER, Secretary-General of the Latin Union
204 rue de Vaugirard, 75015 Paris, France (address)
+33-1-4549-6060 (phone) / +33-1-4544-4701 (fax) / (This is NOT Ballester's personal email.)

Francisco J. ELIZALDE, Member of the International Olympic Committee representing the Philippines

Robin E. MITCHELL, President of Oceania National Olympic Committees
PO Box 21809, GMF Barrigada 96921, Guam (address)
+1-671-649-6662 (phone)
+1-671-646-6662 (fax) (This is NOT Mitchell’s personal email)

Sir Craig REEDIE, British sports administrator and President of WADA ( World Anti-Doping Agency)

Samuel SCHMID, Head of the Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sports
Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sports, Bundeshaus Ost, CH-3003 Berne, Switzerland (address)

Secretary of the Ethics Commission, Villa du Centenaire,
Avenue de l'Elysée 28, 1006 Lausanne, Switzerland
+41-21-621-6381 (fax)

Other IOC EMAILS: / / / 

In this article, there is an interesting sentence: “The IOC decision came just hours before the case was to be heard by an international arbitration panel for sport. The hearing was canceled.”  Does anyone know what this “international arbitration panel for sport” is?
Where does ISU get its income? Sponsorship? Ticket sales to its events? I mentioned boycotting figure skating competitions in one of my earlier comments, and I think we can expand that to boycotting anything related to ISU as well: its sponsors, any channels showing their competitions, etc. We just need to find out what its income source is.

Sorry I haven’t had time to dig up all the info yet, but I think the above is a good framework for moving forward. Please feel free to contribute any ideas you have.

Last but not least, I think we need a better virtual gathering place than the comments section of a blog post (albeit an excellent one). We need a better communication channel. Any suggestions? Perhaps a FB group?

Members of the IOC Ethics Commission


  1. Would you be willing to send a story to TIME magazine as Yuna was once selected as one the 100 most influential people? They may be willing to do an in-depth feature article on this..

  2. Gracie, thanks. I'll update the contact accordingly. :)

  3. You have asked about the Court of Arbitration for Sports, here is their website,
    as far as my research indicating this procedure should be refer by any of International Sports Federation/union's of their own discretion after dispute arise but party in dispute have to filing a complaint first.

  4. Sue, thanks a lot for the link and info! So the bottom line is the KSU has to file a complaint.

  5. Hi Onsemiro, I agree we should take action. Keeping silent would just encourage this happening again. Individuals and groups will be emboldened to propagate and continue this kind of behavior, because the governing bodies such as the ISU, who are supposed to be looking after the well-being of the sport, are taking a blind eye.

    And who knows just how much the sport might be transformed for the worse because of this? Imagine, all federations just vying for advantage this way and that, cheating all over the place, just because nobody is going to punish them anyway. As they say, "If you can't beat them, join them." How many will succumb to this kind of thinking?

  6. katonice, yes, definitely. And there's some movement rising for bringing back justice and integrity to figure skating. So here's some info just in case: if you can speak English, you may want to join Golden Yuna and if you can speak Korean, you may want to join

  7. This is real?
    Killing me?
    I didn't agree. ..

  8. Keeping silent would just encourage this happening again. Individuals and groups will be emboldened to propagate and continue this kink of behavior because the governing bodies such as the ISU, who are supposed to be looking after the well-being of the sport,are taking a blind eye. คาสิโนออนไลน์


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