World skating chief defends under-fire Sochi judging

Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:38am EDT
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(Reuters) - The International Skating Union (ISU) has defended the under-fire figure skating judging system used at the Sochi Winter Olympics that deemed Kim Yuna's routine worthy only of a silver medal, Japanese media reported on Thursday.

Kim had arrived in Russia for the February Games favored to defend her title, but her faultless final routine left her only a silver as home favorite Adelina Sotnikova took a shock gold.

The South Korean Olympic Committee and the Korea Skating Union said in a statement last week that they would demand a thorough investigation into the composition of the judging panel in an official complaint to the ISU.

ISU president Ottavio Cinquanta said the governing body had judged in concert with the International Olympic Committee.

"The event in Sochi was not an event of the ISU. The event was an International Olympic Committee event," Kyodo news agency quoted him as saying at the World Figure Skating Championships at Saitama.

"Together with the IOC, we evaluated in Sochi. This is the fact and we cannot forget the fact.

"In addition, when point of view and opinion are expressed and are criticism, that is one thing, but criticism of wrongdoing needs to be presented with evidence, so that we can make a difference between opinion and something more precise."

The result drew derision from outside Russia, who celebrated their first victory in the women's event. More than 1.5 million people signed an online petition demanding an inquiry.

One judge was identified as having served a one-year suspension for trying to fix an event at the 1998 Olympics, while another, Alla Shekhovtseva - the wife of the general director of the Russian figure skating federation - was caught on camera hugging Sotnikova moments after the win.   Continued...