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ISU receives S. Korean complaint over Sochi figure skating judging

2014/04/16 14:22

SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- The international governing body for figure skating has received South Korea's complaint over the judging controversy at this year's Winter Olympics, officials said Wednesday.

The Korea Skating Union (KSU) on April 10 filed a complaint over the disputed composition of the judging panel for the ladies' singles competition at the Sochi Winter Games in February. South Korean star Kim Yu-na won the silver medal with 219.11 points, behind the Russian upstart Adelina Sotnikova, who had 224.59 points. The decision baffled many fans and experts alike, after Kim performed a near-flawless routine in her free skate while Sotnikova made a noticeable landing mistaking during her program.

A KSU official said the International Skating Union (ISU) informed the South Korean body that it has received the KSU's complaint.

Earlier in the day, Volker Waldeck, head of the ISU's Disciplinary Commission, told the German news agency DPA that the KSU had officially filed its complaint.

Waldeck said it must be decided in the next three weeks whether the ISU or the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will be responsible for handling the case, and the result will only be determined afterward.

The KSU is questioning the makeup of the judging panel for the free skate, rather than the results of the competition.

The panel for the free skate included Alla Shekhovtseva of Russia, who is married to the head of the Russian figure skating body, Valentin Pissev. Another member, Yuri Balkov of Ukraine, had once been suspended from judging for a year after trying to fix the ice dancing competition at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics.

Also, Alexander Lakernik, vice president of the Russian skating federation, headed the technical panel, which assesses skaters' spins and jumps, among other technical elements.

The ISU Constitution and General Regulations state that "no protests against evaluations by referees, judges and the technical panel of skaters' performances are allowed." The ISU also states that protests against results "are permitted only in the case of incorrect mathematical calculation."

   However, under Article 24 of the ISU Constitution and General Regulations, complaints may be filed with the ISU's Disciplinary Commission "within 60 days of learning of the facts or events which constitute a disciplinary or ethical offense." The KSU said it believes the composition of the panel in Sochi was in violation of the ISU's ethical rules

The KSU announced its plan to raise the issue with the ISU on March 21, and then waited until after the conclusion of the March 26-30 ISU world championships to take action.

The KSU had earlier said filing a complaint may adversely affect our relationships with the ISU and international figure skating judges, and that it might put South Korean skaters at a disadvantage at future competitions.

jeeho@yna.co.kr

(END)

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