French Newspaper Accuses U.S., Russia of Colluding to Fix Ice Dancing Events

French Newspaper Accuses U.S., Russia of Colluding to Fix Ice Dancing Events

A French newspaper has accused officials from the United States and Russia of colluding to fix the ice dancing competition at the Sochi Games to squeeze out the Canadians. The deal allegedly would involve a U.S. ice dancing pair winning the gold and the Russians sweeping both paris and team events. 

According to the Chicago Tribune

The French newspaper L’Equipe, quoting an anonymous Russian coach, said the United States and Russia have struck a deal that would help Davis and White win the ice dance gold and Russia win both pairs and the team event.

U.S. and Russian skaters have “been in close competition with Canadian rivals Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir for five seasons. Virtue and Moir are reigning Olympic champions, Davis and White reigning world champions.”

U.S. Figure Skating “categorically” denied the rumors and the International Skating Union said they would not comment on allegations without evidence. 

“Comments made in a L’Equipe story are categorically false,” U.S. Figure Skating said in a statement.  “There is no ‘help’ between countries. We have no further response to rumors, anonymous sources or conjecture.”

On Saturday, “Davis and White scored 75.98 to 72.98 for Virtue and Moir. The Canadians were penalized because Virtue made a significant mistake on one element, a form of pirouette known as a twizzle.”

Marina Zoueva, who coaches both teams, said she had not read anything about the reports and that the scores for the programs were “reasonable.  Tessa made a technical mistake, and Meryl and Charlie skated clean.  I can see (how) they can get a little bit better.”

During the 2002 Winter Olympic Games at Salt Lake City, the International Olympic Committee had to embarrassingly “award a second pairs gold to Canadian pair Jamie Sale and David Pelletier” after they finished “second in the judging to Russian team Elena Bereznaia and Anton Sikharulidze.”

Little did they know that there had been a deal, “involving and exposed by French judge Marie-Reine LeGougne,” to “ensure that the Russians and a French couple, Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizeray, won the dance.”

The International Skating Union “revamped the entire scoring and judging system in an attempt to negate any impact of attempts at score trading.”