Russian Figure Skater Hugs Russian Judge Minutes After Winning Gold Medal (Photo)

In an upset that overthrew reigning gold medalist Yuna Kim, Russian figure skater Adelina Sotnikova won the gold medal in the women’s individual figure skating competition on Thursday. And to add a little drama, moments after receiving her top honor, Sotnikova was seen hugging Alla Shekhovtsova, one of the Russian judges that scored her in the event.

Fans and members of the figure skating community have publicly criticized Sotnikova’s surprisingly high scores, and many question whether she deserved the gold medal.

Shekhovtsova in particular has received backlash regarding her place on the judging panel because she is the wife of the general director of Russia’s figure skating federation.

The photo of her hugging Sotnikova added even more fuel to the fire.

Ottavio Cinquanta, president of figure skating’s international foundation, was surprised that Sotnikova’s victory generated so much attention, according to The Chicago Tribune. He defended Shekhovtsova as a judge.

“Would you rather have an idiot acting as a judge than a good one who is a relative of the manager of a federation?” Cinquanta said. “It is far more important to have a good judge than a possible conflict of interest.”

The release of this photo comes shortly after the creation of an online petition to investigate the Olympic figure skating scores.

Check out the photo below of Shekhovtsova hugging Sotnikova.

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