Report: U.S., Russian Figure Skating Judges Accused Of Collusion In Sochi

Sochi_Olympics_Figure_SkatingIt just wouldn’t be the Winter Olympics without a little figure skating drama.

According to allegations in a report from French sports magazine L’Equipe on Saturday, judges from the United States and Russia conspired to help one another out during the Sochi Games. The magazine’s unidentified Russian coach reportedly said American judges would help the Russians win gold in the pairs and team events. In return, Russian judges would help Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White win the ice dancing event.

U.S. Figure Skating officials were quick to squash the rumor, calling the allegations “categorically false,” according to the Chicago Tribune. “There is no ‘help’ between countries. We have no further response to rumors, anonymous sources or conjecture.”

Davis and White have traditionally been rivals with Canadian pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, having competed against one another for the last five years. Virtue and Moir are the reigning Olympic champions in the event, and Davis and White are the reigning world champions.

In the short dance phase of the team event Saturday night, Davis and White scored 75.98 , and Virtue and Moir scored 72.98.  The Canadians were penalized because Virtue made a significant mistake on one of her pirouette elements.

The new team event in Sochi finishes Sunday night, while the pairs program is scheduled for Feb. 11-12. Ice dancing will be held Feb. 16-17.

Canadian figure skating officials brushed off the report.

“We were made aware of the article from L’Equipe today and we feel it is best not to comment on it,” Skate Canada director Michael Slipchuk said in the Toronto Sun. “Canada is confident that the results of competition will be determined where they should be  — on the ice.”

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