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View Full Version : U.S. Figure Skating reprimands, fines Rachael Flatt



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Cheylana
06-16-2011, 02:54 AM
I'm a little confused, why are people saying she's not skating next season? Does it say that in the article and I just missing it?
You're not missing anything. People are speculating that the reprimand is the USFS' way of saying "Thanks for playing Rachael, now go away." In which case maybe she'll just focus on Stanford and not compete next season.

reese
06-16-2011, 02:59 AM
Again, we haven't seen the letter nor do we know how much (or little) she is being fined. It could be more of a gesture to Phil Hersh and other critics than anything else. I can think of about 3 times I thought USFS was about the dump Rachael, but they have yet to.

Ziggy
06-16-2011, 03:06 AM
Wow, you're really immature.

This is not a time for congratulating Flatt "haters." Nobody is the winning party in this instance. However, as a fan with an opinion, I think the correct decision was made. The problem was not the fact that Rachael competed, it is that Rachael and her team purposefully concealed a stress fracture to the tibia from US Figure Skating, which is a direct violation of US Figure Skating policy as set forth in the 2010-2011 rule book. Since this rule was broken, Rachael has to pay a fine and I'm pretty sure Tom Zakrajsek will have to pay one too. That's it.

Team Agreement but yes, that's exactly the point.

Hopefully it will serve as a warning to other coaches, thinking about putting their skaters at risk for personal gain.

I really really hope that Zakrajsek ends up in trouble too, before he lets another seriously injured skater compete. What a complete tool. :mad:


I'm a little confused, why are people saying she's not skating next season? Does it say that in the article and I just missing it?

Is it possible to study at Stanford full-time and be a competitive skater?

jlai
06-16-2011, 03:10 AM
I find some semblance of truth in each of the above comments...

As someone else mentioned, when was the last time a skater was fined and/or reprimanded for skating through an injury? Or at all? I'm just a little disturbed by this decision at all. Athletes of all sorts compete with and through injury all the time.

True, but USFSA will eventually have to make an example out of a skater at some point to enforce their policy. Like other instances, it's the high-profile cases that trigger such an enforcement.

BittyBug
06-16-2011, 03:18 AM
Wouldn't any ethical breaches on the part of a coach be the province of PSA and not US Figure Skating?

Mayra
06-16-2011, 03:21 AM
Wouldn't any ethical breaches on the part of a coach be the province of PSA and not US Figure Skating?

What ethical breach? :confused: Tom Z was nominated for coach of the year by the PSA. :P

skateboy
06-16-2011, 03:26 AM
Is it possible to study at Stanford full-time and be a competitive skater?

Debi Thomas did it successfully.

jlai
06-16-2011, 03:27 AM
Like Flatt, Debi actually had better results combining school and skating. When Debi competed in 88 without school she actually didn't do as well in Calgary.

manhn
06-16-2011, 03:28 AM
Okay, now I love Racheal Flatt. How ridiculous.

olifaunt
06-16-2011, 03:34 AM
Wow. I am VERY surprised to see this. And glad that the USFS is enforcing its written policy. Eagerly awaiting some action against her coach.

Where, exactly, does it say in the rulebook that a skater who does not disclose injury should be fined? I'm not being sarcastic. I've done a cursory reading of both the 2011 and 2010 rulebooks. If it's there I must have missed it.

Quoting directly from the 2011 USFSA rulebook, here is what I believe to be the relevant part of the code of conduct:


I will conduct myself in a manner not detrimental to the welfare of figure skating. I understand that my actions reflect on U.S. Figure Skating and the sport of figure skating both positively and negatively. I understand that if my acts, statements, or conduct are considered detrimental to the welfare of figure skating by the appropriate authority, I may be subject to penalties imposed by U.S. Figure Skating pursuant to GR 1.04.

Here's the punishment for violating the code of conduct:


Any person whose acts, statements or conduct violates the provisions of the preceding General Rules or otherwise violates the person’s applicable duties and responsibilities to U.S. Figure Skating or whose acts, statements or conduct are otherwise considered detrimental to the welfare of figure skating is subject to the loss of the privilege of registration by U.S. Figure Skating in accordance with the procedure outlined in Article XXIV, Section 3 of the U.S. Figure Skating bylaws relating to loss of membership privileges, suspension and expulsion.

This applies to coaches as well as skaters and parents. It says nothing about fines. If USFSA truly feels that Rachael violated the code of conduct, which seems to be their unstated reason for fining her, by their own rules they should have expelled her as a member from USFSA. I personally don't want that to happen and would be extremely angry if it did, but they seem to be making a weird special case for her where they still want her on the team but they're not keen on encouraging her career. It's confusing.

Article XXIV, Section 3 states that a grievance must be filed within 60 days of discovering the violation and approached within 30 days of the filing - if they truly want to investigate Tom Z, they'd better hurry up and file. It also says that Rachael has 30 days to appeal, though it's possible that rule only applies to rulings resulting in expulsion.

To me, reading this over briefly, it seems like Tom Z violated the code of conduct more than Rachael did, especially considering Josh Farris. Maybe someone filed a grievance against Rachael first.

skfan
06-16-2011, 03:38 AM
why did the usfsa have to rush this email to hersh before they came to some decision against tom z? IMO they would have been better served figuring out what to do in both cases then announcing both decisions. it doesn't look right that the man with the precedence for questionable behavior has yet to face any penalty, while a penalty has already been handed down to rachael.

rachael is not my favorite american skater but this feels extremely unfair to me. i can only imagine the anger rachael's parents must be feeling right now. on another board, someone (jokingly) said he wanted to see the USFSA try to pull rachael and then rachael could file a lawsuit a la tonya harding. i know rachael is no tonya but i'm wondering if the usfsa officials feel so protected by any paper work rachael signed that they could risk rachael's parents raising a heck of a stink.

if they handed down a penalty to rachael first because she hasn't got as many powerful people in skating watching out for her back, or because phil hersh kept bugging them, i find that reprehensible. again, i'm not saying that's what happened, but i am disturbed that rachael got all this press while nothing's been announced against tom z.

if it turns out they are gather data for a case for barring him permanently, doing something on that scale, then i will retract my objection to their announcing rachael's punishment separately and before tom z's.

jlai
06-16-2011, 03:46 AM
rachael is not my favorite american skater but this feels extremely unfair to me. i can only imagine the anger rachael's parents must be feeling right now. on another board, someone (jokingly) said he wanted to see the USFSA try to pull rachael and then rachael could file a lawsuit a la tonya harding. i know rachael is no tonya but i'm wondering if the usfsa officials feel so protected by any paper work rachael signed that they could risk rachael's parents raising a heck of a stink.


Well, like the suspected age-rule violation cases, people were calling for medal stripping (ie punishing Chinese athletes) as a way to punish the athlete's team, though the coaches were likely just as responsible. Not fair but...

mtnskater
06-16-2011, 03:50 AM
While I'm glad USFS actually demonstrated a small semblance of "cahones" by reprimanding and fining Flatt for failing to alert them of her injury prior to Worlds, I'd like to see them also shine the mirror on themselves. I still am flabbergasted that even though Flatt was training full time just a couple of miles away from their headquarters in CO Springs and Worlds was delayed by a month this year, that no one from USFS made it a point to go out and monitor the readiness of our World team prior to the event and in enough time to secure replacements if needed. I too hope Rachel's coach is the recipient of a similar reprimand. As a fan who was thoroughly disgusted by how this whole Flatt thing came down at Worlds I take a little comfort in knowing that USFS isn't totally asleep at the wheel. However, I hope they learn to be more proactive and protective of the make up and condition of the US World team in the future. Fans and supporters are counting on USFS to make sure we send our best team to Worlds each year...a team that is ready to compete to the best of their ability. Kudos to Phil Hersh, Frank Carroll and the posters at Figure Skating Universe for keeping the heat on USFS to address this issue.

Debbie S
06-16-2011, 04:06 AM
Where, exactly, does it say in the rulebook that a skater who does not disclose injury should be fined? I'm not being sarcastic. I've done a cursory reading of both the 2011 and 2010 rulebooks. If it's there I must have missed it.The rulebook does not encompass all of the USFSA's written policies. I believe what is being enforced is the set of rules that Team USA skaters agree to when they accept envelope money and/or international assignments. Those rules are covered by the various statements that the USFSA has the authority to set rules for athlete conduct, etc.

Carolla5501
06-16-2011, 04:09 AM
Whatever it is, it should definitely be harsher than the action taken against Flatt. Honestly, I think the whole situation falls on Tom Z. HE was the one who made the decision to send her- and the one who is ultimately responsible for his skater.

Rachel is 18 years old. she has parents.

Tom Z may be wrong here but "ultimate responsibility" is not Tom's. She is old enough to decide to defer college, she is old enough to go to a top tier college. She is old enough to say NO as are her parents, who pay the bills.

If they have abdicated all responsibility to Tom Z then they only have themselves to blame!