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    Releases for Skaters with Multiple Citizenships

    Does anyone know definitively -- i.e., what specific ISU chapters and verses -- whether a federation can refuse to release a skater if that skater has citizenship in another country for whom s/he wants to compete?

    There have been lots of statements, including by me, and they go both ways, but it's got to be written down somewhere.
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    I don't think citizenship matters at all.

    Let's say you're US and Canadian but competed for US before.

    For ISU purposes you are seen as an American skater and the USFS "owns" you.

    The best example for this is Jerome Blanchard.

    He's not Russian but is still "owned" by the Russian Fed because he competed for them.

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    http://www.isu.org/vsite/vfile/page/...-0-file,00.pdf

    Rule 109 appears to indicate that:

    1. A skater who holds citizenship in two countries may normally skate for one country and then the other.
    2. The skater normally cannot skate for two different countries during the same season.
    3. The first federation can prevent the skater from switching countries for 24 months after competing in an ISU Championship or 12 months after competing in some other international competition.
    4. If the first federation won't release the skater, then the skater can ask the ISU Council to let him switch anyway.
    5. Such applications will normally be granted, but not if "granting such application would be contrary to the purpose and spirit of the Rule. (e.g., in [the] case that a Member tries to 'import' several athletes with foreign citizenship, in particular when such athletes should form a new national team of such Member or its substantial part)."

    In other words, if Bryce Davison wanted to skate for the U.S., it would probably be futile for Canada to try to hold him back, and the Russian Federation probably couldn't stop Jérôme Blanchard from skating for France if he wanted to.
    Last edited by Vagabond; 07-01-2011 at 09:37 PM.

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    Many thanks, Vagabond for deciphering Rule 109

    #5 may be Matthews/Gislason rule, and the reason why Azerbaijan stopped filling out paperwork for North American skaters.

    Davison last competed in an ISU championship for Canada on 24 March 2010 (Worlds). He could technically could skate for the US in Nice, since those championships don't start until 26 March 2012, more than the 24-month mark. (109.2.b.iii) and he'd be clear for any non-championship competition immediately (109.2.b.ii), were Skate Canada to refuse to release him, and he applied for and was granted an exception.

    Blanchard should be free and clear for the upcoming and future seasons, if there was an attempted block, and he applied for and received an exemption.

    Every once in a while, the ISU gets it right.

    Also interesting, in 109.5 (the exception clause), "A competitor nominated by the ISU does not count in the quota of the country of his citizenship or residence." Am I reading this correctly to mean that the skater wouldn't have to earn a spot through the federation qualifiers? (Ex: New Partner/Davison came in third at US Nats).

    For all of the other split pairs and dance partners, they are SOL without a second citizenship and a partner from that country.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    The best example for this is Jerome Blanchard.

    He's not Russian but is still "owned" by the Russian Fed because he competed for them.
    Does all this really apply in Blanchard's case? I thought he only competed in Russian events, not internationally, which is the deciding factor. Or am I missing something? Of course, it's unlikely that he'll be returning to competition anyway, so it doesn't really matter much.

    It will be interesting to see if any of the now partner-less skaters will attempt to country hop, and who (if anyone) will be able to do so. Davison obviously should have no problem if he wants to skate for the US.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    http://www.isu.org/vsite/vfile/page/...-0-file,00.pdf

    Rule 109 appears to indicate that:

    1. A skater who holds citizenship in two countries may normally skate for one country and then the other.
    2. The skater normally cannot skate for two different countries during the same season.
    3. The first federation can prevent the skater from switching countries for 24 months after competing in an ISU Championship or 12 months after competing in some other international competition.
    4. If the first federation won't release the skater, then the skater can ask the ISU Council to let him switch anyway.
    5. Such applications will normally be granted, but not if "granting such application would be contrary to the purpose and spirit of the Rule. (e.g., in [the] case that a Member tries to 'import' several athletes with foreign citizenship, in particular when such athletes should form a new national team of such Member or its substantial part)."

    In other words, if Bryce Davison wanted to skate for the U.S., it would probably be futile for Canada to try to hold him back, and the Russian Federation probably couldn't stop Jérôme Blanchard from skating for France if he wanted to.
    I have always wondered about this and your items above have created a question. If the skater does a ISU Championship say a national competition for the member country, and switches before the next national competition. This doesn't seam to be possible under this rule. Like lets say a Japan skater competed at their national event, then wanted before the next nationals to move to say China. Are you saying that they can't do it without permission? How long would they have to wait?

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    The ISU doesn't care about nationals as far as sitting out periods are concerned. Neither Blanchard nor Volosozhar needed a release from the Ukrainian Federation to compete internal competitions or nationals in Russia.

    Rule 109 applies because Volosozhar was granted Russian citizenship. She did need a release from the Ukrainian Federation to compete at 2011 Worlds, because according to rule 109, had they refused, she would have had to sit out for 24 months from her last ISU championships instead of 12 (with release), and the Russian Fed would have had to apply for an exception. However, she could have competed in other international competitions for Russia without release, if the ISU granted an exception.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    The ISU doesn't care about nationals as far as sitting out periods are concerned. Neither Blanchard nor Volosozhar needed a release from the Ukrainian Federation to compete internal competitions or nationals in Russia.

    Rule 109 applies because Volosozhar was granted Russian citizenship. She did need a release from the Ukrainian Federation to compete at 2011 Worlds, because according to rule 109, had they refused, she would have had to sit out for 24 months from her last ISU championships instead of 12 (with release), and the Russian Fed would have had to apply for an exception. However, she could have competed in other international competitions for Russia without release, if the ISU granted an exception.
    So a countries nationals isn't consider an ISU event that applies to rule 109?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProgramerUSFS View Post
    So a countries nationals isn't consider an ISU event that applies to rule 109?
    I believe this is true (there have been cases in recent years where a US skater has competed at their Regionals in October and/or Sectionals in November and then showed up representing a country other than the USA at Four Continents a few months later, for example. The proper procedure, AFAIK, would be for the US skater to request a formal release from USFS by having their new federation contact the current Chair of USFS' International Committee.

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    I think you should ask directly Reed's mother.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    I believe this is true (there have been cases in recent years where a US skater has competed at their Regionals in October and/or Sectionals in November and then showed up representing a country other than the USA at Four Continents a few months later, for example. The proper procedure, AFAIK, would be for the US skater to request a formal release from USFS by having their new federation contact the current Chair of USFS' International Committee.
    You would think that more skaters would do this. Is the reason that you don't see more changing countries is because the skater is required to be a citizen of the member country they are moving to and that is difficult to get?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProgramerUSFS View Post
    You would think that more skaters would do this. Is the reason that you don't see more changing countries is because the skater is required to be a citizen of the member country they are moving to and that is difficult to get?
    Residency is enough (is it even required?), you don't have to be a citizen.

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    The way the rule is written, residency or citizenship is required, at least for 109 to apply.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    The ISU doesn't care about nationals as far as sitting out periods are concerned.
    Also, to be clear, an ISU Championship is: Worlds, Euros, and 4CCs on the Senior level. GP events, the GPF and any Senior B events are not ISU Championship events. They are ISU events.

    But I could be wrong about the GPF and I'm not sure about the Olympics because they are also under the control of the IOC and not just the ISU.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    Also, to be clear, an ISU Championship is: Worlds, Euros, and 4CCs on the Senior level. GP events, the GPF and any Senior B events are not ISU Championship events. They are ISU events.
    This distinction is important, because without a release, there are different sitting out periods for championships and non-championships, if an exception is granted.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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    Would Emily Samuelson have to sit out another year if she switched (to Canada and Poirier)? Her last competition was Worlds 2010.

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    Quote Originally Posted by operagirl View Post
    Would Emily Samuelson have to sit out another year if she switched (to Canada and Poirier)? Her last competition was Worlds 2010.
    I read the 109 and am thinking that the waiting periods only apply if the member country doesn't release the skater. Am I correct, in that if the US would release Emily to Canada, she could go without any waiting?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProgramerUSFS View Post
    I read the 109 and am thinking that the waiting periods only apply if the member country doesn't release the skater. Am I correct, in that if the US would release Emily to Canada, she could go without any waiting?
    There is a one-year waiting period for pairs and dance skaters and a two-year waiting period for singles for international competitions and championships with a release.

    Since the last time Samuelson competed for the US internationally was Worlds 2010, she's already past the waiting period, with a release. Without a release, and with an exception, Worlds 2012 is the first championship in which she could compete, but she's already passed the waiting period for non-championship ISU competitions.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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    Does anyone really believe USFS would release Emily to skate for Canada?

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    No, but she'd be eligible to skate for Worlds in Nice if the ISU granted an exception under Rule 109 of the ISU Constitution, and, with it, she could also skate in GP and other international events as soon as it was granted, since the last time she skated for the US was Worlds 2010.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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