French newspaper L’Equipe, citing an anonymous Russian coach, reported that the U.S. and Russia conspired to fix figure skating competitions at the 2014 Olympics. According the report, a U.S./Russia deal would help Russia win gold in the pairs and team competition, in exchange for the Russians helping Charlie White and Meryl Davis win gold in ice dancing. U.S. Figure Skating has termed the report “categorically false.”
Such collusion would squeeze out the Canadians, who believe they’ve been targeted with an inordinate amount of “random” drug testing.
Figure skating endured a similar scandal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. A French judge, Marie-Reine La Gougne, claimed she was pressured by the French federation to vote for the Russian pair ahead of the Canadian pair, as part of a deal to help the French in ice dancing. Her vote made the difference in a razor-thin voting margins. The scores were thrown out and both teams were awarded gold medals at a later ceremony.
This may just be a case of figure skating gossip being figure skating gossip. Though, it’s worth noting L’Equipe published allegations against Lance Armstrong back in 2005 that proved spectacularly correct.
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[USA Today Sports]
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