Ukrainian judge suspended by the ISU for 2 years, subject to appeal

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Sylvia, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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    ISU Communication No. 1795 Decision of ISU Disciplinary Commission (June 14, 2013): http://isu.sportcentric.net/db//files/serve.php?id=4519
    Link to the Decision of the ISU Disciplinary Commission (May 30, 2013): http://isu.sportcentric.net/db//files/serve.php?id=4520
    Excerpt:
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  2. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    She did herself no favors by trying to weasel out of the meeting. Sheesh.
  3. gingercat

    gingercat Active Member

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    If you have ever tried to get a visa for a Ukrainian you would know she is most likely no telling a lie. Many athletes from counties like Ukraine and the "Stans"... Miss competitions due to details like that. No excuse for her actions as a judge, but getting visas stinks!
  4. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Who were the Ukrainians competing at this event?
  5. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Jiro

    Jiro Guest

    It was a female judge who reported her and they were only two others on the panel: Diana Stevens and Kirsten Tillmann. My money is on the British judge.
  7. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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    Regardless of whichever of the 2 female judges reported the UKR judge, I'm heartened that she did what she thought was right and that the event referee also did his job! It makes me wonder how many times this kind of scenario might have occurred at international competitions (especially with the Worlds minimum TES scores rising sharply this past season) versus how many times official reports have been filed.
  8. N_Halifax

    N_Halifax Active Member

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    Agree with you 100%.
  9. Jenna

    Jenna Well-Known Member

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    There is definitely some indication in the protocols of Ms. Kruglova propping up the Ukranian team with her marks, particularly in the free skate. I am glad this situation was dealt with responsibly and that the appropriate actions have been taken. Like Sylvia said, the minimum scores to qualify for the "big events" have introduced a whole new realm of cheating and deal making.
  10. analia

    analia Member

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    Every other judge must be scared to death Studying the result is interesting. Chafik Besseghier from France, for example was getting all 7s in PCS from one judge, who is probably one of the French judges on the panel. Should it be illegal for a judge to prop up his/her country's own skater? It must happen all the time. One the other hand, this brings out the whole controversial "corridor rule".
  11. BreakfastClub

    BreakfastClub Active Member

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    This is exactly the argument I've been making for years at the COP defenders who claim that it's harder to cheat under 6.0 and/or "we now know where the scores come from." It is so much easier to cheat under COP. A little extra GOE here, a little extra GOE there, bump the PCS .25 here, .75 there... and voilà! One judge just dishonestly made a significant difference in the overall score. With placements not uncommonly being determined by less than a point or two, one judge can really influence the result. (Unlike under 6.0 where you had to get at least 5 of them to work together :shuffle:)

    Not saying we should go back to 6.0, just saying that COP hasn't done a damn thing to resolve the issue of cheating it just hides it more effectively, which was the ISU's entire rationale for implementing COP in the first place.
  12. tortellini

    tortellini Member

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    me too especially with the last few senior ice dance competitions
  13. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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  14. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Tony makes a very good point about the optics of the very first assignment for a newly un-suspended judge being the most high-profile annual event in the sport.

    Not that the less-visible competitions should become the equivalent of the "naughty chair" for newly-reformed misbehaving judges, but really, the ISU might have given some thought to how this judging assignment might be perceived.
  15. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    Proping up your own skater with inflated marks is already against the rules if you do it blatantly enough. I know under 6.0 judges were sometimes suspended for "national bias".

    I don't think this really is a question of corridor marking. They only need to look at how that judge marked his own skater vs how he marked the others. If he is consistently running a point or so higher in his PCS than the other judges, then there is no issue if he also gives his own skater a point or so more. (Well, there may be a re-training issue, but not an ethical one.) I think the ISU does do statistical analyses looking for national bias. I have no idea how far off a judge has to be to raise suspicion.
  16. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    I think it's hilarious when people naively think that COP has eradicated cheating in this sport. Yes, it's rather hard to fake a base value in TES (unless you have a tech caller who isn't making appropriate calls) but everything else can be manipulated very easily. GOE and PCS are still effective tools that can be used to prop up/hold down a skater. And since all of the judging is anonymous it's not like that person has to be held accountable for the marks they gave out.

    No, I don't feel we should go back to 6.0 but this system is far from being even halfway perfect. And to those who think politics don't play into scoring, I submit Exhibit A: Ms. Kruglova. I don't believe for a second that this situation is an anomaly. I'd bet money this happens very frequently...only difference is Kruglova got caught.
  17. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    Amen.
  18. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    Amen again......
  19. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    "Harder to cheat" and "No cheating (possible)" are two very different things, and, apart from the ISU, I don't know anyone who claims the latter for CoP. I can't remember anyone here still believing that anonymous judging is a good idea -- some people were willing to give it a chance in the beginning as the lesser of two evils -- and while it's a choice made for the implementation, just as to was for the interim system which didn't even display sets of marks from the same judge, it's by no means intrinsic to the system the way, for example, "Every element score is a combination of base difficulty plus quality of execution" is.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  20. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

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    I thnk minimums should be abolished. But the rules are the rules and she was properly punished.
  21. 2sk8

    2sk8 Active Member

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    This.
  22. casken

    casken Well-Known Member

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    I don't think, in all the my years at FSU, I've seen anyone who has said they think COP has eradicated cheated. :shuffle:
  23. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    Not in those exact words but some people feel it's harder to cheat with COP and to that I say horse poo. There was a very silly poll a while back asking whether or not politics still played a part in scoring and some foolish people actually said they didn't.
  24. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    I would think it would be harder to cheat on the TES than the 6.0 technical mark, simply because there are so many precise rules and criteria, and so many numbers. If someone falls, it is -1, no way to get around that - and that 1 point can make a huge difference in ranking (especially in dance). If a quad is clearly turned into a triple, it doesn't get rewarded as a quad. Sure, there are some inconsistencies, such as how strict the UR calls are. But judges are required to look for UR, which they could easily overlook under 6.0. And GOE. But with all the rules and numbers, I would think it would be very hard for judges to cheat.

    It's easier to show bias with PCS. I found Frank Carroll's comments about Ten's PCS at worlds interesting. There was a substantial increase in his PCS for the LP as compared to the SP, as if the judges just suddenly took notice of him. That's more a matter of perception than intentional cheating, but the same may have been the case for 6.0.

    Perhaps in years to come there will be more rigid criteria for PCS. But even then, folks will find fault with it. No matter what the system, it will favour some skaters over others simply by emphasizing certain things over others or rewarding one thing more than another.
  25. Simone411

    Simone411 aka IceSkate98

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    Yes, it would be nice if under COP or even the 6.0 system back in the day that PCS could be measured by a stopwatch like in Track and Field or even perhaps by a meter that could rate the jumps, spins, footwork ... etc. However, none of that type of technology exists for Figure Skating. Either way, 6.0 or COP, there will be unfair judging, a little cheating with the scores here and there. The problem never really existed with 6.0 or COP. The problem lies with unfair judges. It would be so fabulous if there was a type of technology that existed which could detect unfair cheating judges.
  26. JanetB

    JanetB Well-Known Member

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    It's not harder to cheat but in the competitions that have more judges it is harder to make that cheating amount to a lot of extra marks for anything for two reasons

    1. The high and low marks get thrown out so you can't be to far out in awarding GOE or the PC's
    2. Because the GOE and the PC's are averaged across the judges that even if you are able to add an extra 1/2 point to each PC you have been able to add 0.36 points, before factoring, to your skaters marks. With the grade of execution you would be adding even less. Marks would have to be very close to make a single judge cheating count

    The only way minor manipulation of the marks would have a major impact at a major international event would be to have a block of judges. At smaller competitions with less judges, minor manipulation of marks would have a much larger impact.
  27. Simone411

    Simone411 aka IceSkate98

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    Thank you for explaining some of this. So at smaller competitions with less judges, there would be a larger impact with just minor manipulation of marks. Very interesting.
  28. aikon

    aikon New Member

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    Judging is only anonymous in OWG, ISU Championships, Senior Grand Prix and GP Finals. In all other competitions marks are printed in the actual judges' seating order.
  29. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    Why do they feel the need to keep judging "only" anonymous at the most important events?
  30. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    But Japanfan, there have been instances under IJS of judges overlooking URs, and cases where skaters have been taken heavily to task for URs that are very borderline or in fact not clearly URs. From comp to comp, it seems to depend a lot on the skater's past rep re UR tendencies, the caller, and the ever ubiquitous skating politics.


    Apparently not that hard. ;)
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  31. babayaga

    babayaga Active Member

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    That's what I'm wondering too. Could it be that a certain level of corruption is actually convenient for ISU? I don't see any other reason why they insist on keeping anonymous judging.
  32. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    As I understand the logic,

    Judges as individuals generally take pride in their work and want to judge according to the standards they have been taught and not according to politics. Their federations often put pressure on them to help out their home country skaters.

    Since federations are responsible for judges getting international assignments, the judges feel that they can't disobey their federations' wishes and call it like they see it without risking the loss of future assignments or other loss of privileges.

    Federation leaders could make deals with other federations themselves, or they could charge the judges with making those deals with the other judges when they get to the event.

    If the published marks are associated with the names of the judges who gave them, then the federations will know whether the judges obeyed the instructions or not, and deal-making judges would know whether the people they made the deal with lived up to their side of the bargain.

    This kind of pressure on judges to manipulate results is much greater at the important international events, where the stakes are higher.

    If the scores are scrambled, the people applying the pressure will not know whether their judges obeyed. (In theory. In practice it could be possible through cryptography to figure who gave what scores, if the federations are sufficiently motivated to police their judges' obedience.)

    Without worrying about punishment from the federation, judges feel freer to give the scores they honestly believe each skater deserves.


    Now, I personally don't know how much that explanation represents the real source of any corruption that has been a problem in figure skating throughout its history, and how much individual judges have been dishonest on their own initiative with no outside pressure.

    But assuming that most corruption does stem from federation politics and not from individual initiative, then hiding the responsibility for each score from the organizations applying the pressure would diminish the motivation of judges to succumb to that pressure because the organization that has power over them would not be able to prove they disobeyed.

    Historically, the intention behind most cheating has been to manipulate placements, with the goal of getting medals, or top-10 results, or advancement to the final round, etc.

    However, as we see from this example, with the introduction of minimum scores required for championships means that there is now also motivation to ensure that skaters achieve higher technical scores regardless of how they actually place in the event. And so we see an example of a judge trying to pressure another judge to help her country's skaters achieve that minimum score (in addition, presumably, to inflating their GOEs herself).
  33. babayaga

    babayaga Active Member

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    But the federation can still demand the judge to tell them which marks they gave? They can still make deals with other federations and federations can share the information about which column represented their judge after the competition. I think at the end of the day the federations may very well know what scores several "friendly" judges gave, just not the skaters or the fans thus no scandals, everything is nice and quiet.

    Still thanks for your response, gkelly.
  34. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Well, if a judge wants to judge honestly and avoid the wrath of the federation, they could lie. :)

    Which wouldn't help them much if they were still highest on the home-country skater, just not as high as the federation wanted.

    And the more recent scrambling of columns from one skater to the next not only would make any cryptographic attempts to identify which judge gave which column much more difficult, but it also might make it hard for judges themselves to remember which column of numbers was theirs for any particular skater. They might well remember what they gave the home country skater, if they had a reason (such as federation interrogation, or personal attempts to manipulate) to cement those numbers in memory before leaving the stand. But otherwise, they're probably going to remember specific GOEs or PCS only if they were particularly memorable -- for many skaters, hours or days let alone weeks after the fact, they might look at the columns in random order and have no idea which was their own.
  35. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    You would think it should work this way but it turns out this is way too simplistic a view. In fact the vast majority of elements are done Ok enough that a 2 or even 3 point GOE range among the judges goes unnoticed. It isn't even all that unusual to see the same element marked in the negative GOE by some judges and in positive GOE by other judges. As someone mentioned upthread, it is as simple as giving your preferred skated an extra GOE on most elements while giving his/her/their main rivals one less GOE than you might otherwise have given. Is anyone going to remark at 0 GOE when most other judges have given +1? Then do the same with the PCS marks and it can add up to a swing of several points (especially if you have tea and a chat with your friendly judges, apparently).

    This is the excuse the ISU uses to justify anonymous judging, but I think a lot of folks believe it as mostly just a smoke screen. The real reason the ISU want anonymous judging is because it keep the media and fans ignorant of which judges and giving which marks. No more Tracy Wilson with her tables of numbers with red circles and arrows on TV talking about judging blocks. No more complaining over shenanigans by the East German judge, etc, etc, etc. If we can't see what's really going on, we can't do much more than whine vaguely while the ISU laughs up their sleeves.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  36. babayaga

    babayaga Active Member

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    I am afraid I believe that many judges actually are willing to work together with their federation, I am just not very optimistic about human nature. And it's not like they have to memorize the scores they gave to many skaters - only their own and maybe one or two others who they promised to support. That's very doable. And this is already enough for serious manipulations if done regularly.
  37. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Okay, gkelly, thanks. That's a very enlightening explication of the "anonymous" reasoning: its done to protect the judges from their federations. :duh:

    I'm not disagreeing with the reasoning or questioning its validity as you explained it. Obviously, the anonymity is definitely to protect the judges. But, personally I thought the anonymity was put in place after SLC more to protect the judges from public scrutiny in case of any scoring controversies. As a result, the honest judges can continue trying to do their thing and the judges susceptible to tweaking their marks for whatever political reason can still do their thing. All in all the ISU probably feels with the blanket anonymity and scrambling of marks no one is the wiser either way, unless of course behind-the-scenes conspiring and influence peddling gets too open or goes too far and is reported, such as in the case of the Ukrainian judge.

    Still, pardon me for thinking that anonymous judging is like trying to stop bleeding from a gaping wound with a bandaid.

    Even if the judges feel more comfortable, does that make them more competent? Where's the accountability?
  38. LongTimeLurker

    LongTimeLurker New Member

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    And therein lies the problem.