Here it is.. It doesn't say "disqualified" though..
FIGURE SKATING; Judge and Ice Official Face Accusers
By CHRISTOPHER CLAREY
Published: April 30, 2002
Sign In to E-Mail
The French figure skating judge and the ice sports official accused of colluding to influence the result of the Olympic pairs competition defended themselves today at a hearing before the International Skating Union Council.
Marie Reine Le Gougne, the judge, and Didier Gailhaguet, the French ice sports federation president, appeared separately this morning, presenting their cases and answering questions from investigators. They spent the afternoon listening as their lawyers cross-examined some of their accusers.
''It got very intense,'' said Maxwell A. Miller, one of Le Gougne's American lawyers.
The first session of this two-day closed-door hearing in a hotel lasted nearly nine hours. Among the eight figure skating officials who testified were Sally Stapleford of Britain and Ron Pfenning of the United States, whose accounts first cast doubt on Le Gougne's probity.
Stapleford, a former Olympian who is head of the figure skating technical committee, has said that Le Gougne told her and two committee members, Britta Lindgren and Walburga Grimm, on the night of the pairs final in Salt Lake City that Le Gougne had succumbed to pressure. The French judge had placed the Russian pair of Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze ahead of the Canadian pair of Jamie Salé and David Pelletier.
Pfenning, the event referee, was one of those present at the review meeting the day after the competition, when Le Gougne began crying and confessed to having been influenced by Gailhaguet. Though Le Gougne acknowledges making that statement, she has recanted. She contends that she behaved irrationally because of the intense criticism and pressure applied by the pro-Canadian lobby within the International Skating Union, including Stapleford, in the hours after the controversial decision.
The skating union, under pressure from the International Olympic Committee to resolve the issue, awarded duplicate gold medals to Salé and Pelletier. The I.S.U. also suspended Le Gougne indefinitely for misconduct.
Ottavio Cinquanta, the skating union president, is directing the hearing.
''It was a very good meeting indeed,'' said Cinquanta, who declined to comment on details of today's session and instructed all the participants to maintain confidentiality until the I.S.U. made a ruling, which is expected by Tuesday afternoon.
''Mr. Cinquanta told us they would render a decision by then,'' Alexander Trabant, Gailhaguet's lawyer, said.
Le Gougne and Gailhaguet have seized on the decision to award duplicate golds as an indicator that the outcome of these hearings has been predetermined against them. (How to justify the second gold if Le Gougne and Gailhaguet are cleared?)
Despite concerns that they would not be allowed to cross-examine witnesses, Le Gougne and Gailhaguet's lawyers acknowledged that they were provided with sufficient opportunity today.
''We were reasonably surprised and pleased,'' Trabant said. ''But we still feel that the I.S.U. has not invited everybody here they should have. The people who could have said things in our favor have not been made available.''
There were also criticisms of the hearing's relatively informal structure.
''I have some discomfort,'' said Benjamin Kaplan, a lawyer for Pfenning and the skating judge Jon Jackson, who allegedly heard Le Gougne confess to Stapleford on the night after the pairs event that she had succumbed to pressure.
Jackson was one of the focal points of cross-examination today, as Le Gougne and Gailhaguet's lawyers emphasized conflicting testimony about his presence that evening during Le Gougne's conversation with Stapleford. Grimm does not recall seeing Jackson there. The lawyers for the French also tried to exploit minor discrepancies in Grimm, Stapleford and Lindgren's testimony about the sequence of events that night.
According to someone present in the hearing, Pfenning's assertion that the Canadians were the clear winners clashed with testimony provided by the event's assistant referee, Aleksandr Lakernik of Russia, who said that either pair could have been declared the winner on technical grounds.
Pfenning, in a letter dated Feb. 12 and addressed to Cinquanta, termed the initial 5-4 decision in favor of the Russians ''a serious error.'' In that letter, he also maintained that Le Gougne told him in private the day after the pairs competition that ''the Canadians were really the best, but she must do what she had to do,'' a statement Le Gougne denies making.
Pfenning also recommended in the letter that Le Gougne's marks be replaced by the marks of the substitute judge, Jarmila Portova of the Czech Republic. Portova had the Canadians first, but the I.S.U. instead opted to nullify all the marks given to the Canadians and the Russians and recommend the double-gold solution.
That decision could come back to haunt the organization if Le Gougne and Gailhaguet are sanctioned by the I.S.U. and follow through on their promises to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
On Tuesday, Bruce Edwards, who was Gailhaguet's driver during the Salt Lake Games, is expected to testify that he overheard Gailhaguet talking with Le Gougne and Russian officials.
''The chauffeur doesn't know what he heard,'' Trabant said. ''He heard Didier talking to Marie Reine once or twice and heard him talking to a certain Russian person. Didier talked to Marie Reine several times. Nothing forbids him doing that.''
Michel Filliau, an I.O.C. employee, is also scheduled to appear on Tuesday. Trabant said Filliau would corroborate Edwards's story and testify that Gailhaguet tried to suppress testimony.
Alain Michel, a French judge who has accused Gailhaguet of pressuring him to favor French competitors in past international competitions, will also appear, along with another French judge, Anne Hardy-Thomas, who is expected to testify in support of Le Gougne and the French federation.
When today's session finished, as if to underscore the internecine nature of the conflict, Cinquanta and Gailhaguet boarded the same elevator and rode it up to their rooms.
Pfenning did recommend the substitute judge's marks be used, and yes she did vote for S&P. The problem is, there was no actual rule nor any precedent on which to base his recommendation; there was only his own disagreement with the initial outcome. Therefore, the ISU could not follow it.
There was nothing that would possibly have allowed the Czech judge's marks to be used.
Last edited by escaflowne9282; 01-18-2012 at 09:51 AM.
I strongly feel D/V and DelShoes were the only medal-material there, but Drobiazko/Vanagas were unfortunate enough to have had that fall, besides, judging by what happened in Lyon, the judges would NEVER push them to the Olympic podium (I swear the story of their career is one of the most heartbreaking things in the entire figure skating history). I will also never understand why Isabelle and Olivier didn't medal there.
And yeah, the 2006 FALLS. Falls of both partners happened to 4 out of the top 10 dance teams in the OD. Ch/S had a fall in the CD if I recall right. Come on, it was a catastrophe!
Deloebel/Schoenfelder had my favourite FD of 2006. I didn't like the Olympic ice dance podium either. I had at least expected a more special FD of the Olympic champions. I did enjoy their 2005 FD though.
For me in Turin,
Compulsory-Navka/Kostamarova 1st, Dubreil/Lauzon 2nd, Grushina/Goncharov 3rd.
Original Dance-Navka/Kostmaraov 1st, Belbin/Agosto 2nd, Delobel/Schoenfelder 3rd.
Free Dance-Drobiazko/Vanagas1st, Delobel/Shoenfelder 2nd, Denkova/Stavisky 3rd.
But I agree it was one of the weaker Olympic events in recent history.
But it was exciting!! In 2002 we knew who the top 4 were. We knew all year long. Not a damn thing would change that. therefore, that lackluster FD was the most anti-climatic thing that could've possibly happened. If A/P hadn't won, and thank god they did, that competition would be one of the most hated ever.
In 2006 there were 8 to 10 teams who could medal, and we were guessing who they would be throughout the entire competition. If there were no falls, and everyone skated well, are the medalists really that clear? In 2002, even with the mistakes, they were. Therefore you just sit back and hope to see great performances, and other than the OD and maybe a couple of the FDs, we didn't.
I guess overall in terms of skating 2002 was still better, but the excitement in the 06 Ice Dance comp was definitely still there.
1998 Oly Dance comp was far better thn 02 and 06 imho. 4th in Nagano could have won 02 silver