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  1. #1

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    Plushenko wants TV commentator charged with libel

    Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    More articles (in English):
    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/n...tor-defamation
    http://english.pravda.ru/news/sports...i_Plushenko-0/
    http://en.rsport.ru/other_sports/201...644648536.html

    Posted yesterday in the Plushenko fan thread in the Trash Can:
    Quote Originally Posted by lala View Post
    https://twitter.com/EvgeniPlushenko
    translating

    RT @EvgeniPlushenko:
    Here's a video which sent to me: http://youtube.com/watch?v=sapPTvStTeU
    Well, what can I say about it... I'm especially bitter, aware of the fact that Andrey Zhurankov @AZhurankov, pretending to the title of a sports journalist, which in itself should mean a certain level of professionalism, could understand all the mendacity which he told on Russian channel EUROSPORT 2 about me as a athlete and person, that is, he deliberately insulted my honor, dignity and reputation.
    Sport - it's my life. Sporting achievements in the name of the glory of Russia - this is my religion. For me, it's not just words, it is the essence of all that I did and do in the sport. Violating the code of ethics of the journalist, Zhurankov slandered and insulted not only me, than also my entire team, including a genius coach Alexei Mishin, wonderful assistants, my fans in Russia and around the world.
    Fact is so disgusting and transcends, that I'm not going to leave it just like that. In the end, there is a law, there is a court, in which I will defend my dignity of athlete and person.
    Last edited by Sylvia; 02-11-2013 at 05:52 PM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

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    Why would all those people really do this whole scenario of back surgery that's fake? Lol.

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    Of course what Plushy has really accomplished is bringing more attention to the commentator.

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    Does this constitute libel in the legal sense? Paging our in-house lawyer. I don't expect a comment on the Russian law, US law would be fine.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    I'm not a lawyer, and as pointed out, libel is defined very differently in many places. I asked my in-house media law resource (Mr. Overedge, who asks me to point out that he too is not a lawyer and knows nothing about Russian libel/slander law), and here's what he says:
    - Whether it's libel might depend on whether the commentator actually phoned all the hospitals himself and verified first-hand that Plushenko was or wasn't registered as a patient, i.e. did due diligence to back up his claims. If he relied on reports from other media without verifying those reports, that usually isn't a sufficient defense.
    - It also might depend on whether the commentator contacted Plushenko's reps and asked them for their side of the story, before saying what he said.
    - It could also depend on how the comments were phrased. Saying "Plushenko is a liar" could be libellous. Saying something like "Plushenko is not registered in any hospitals and this causes me to question what Plushenko is saying" could be interpreted as fair comment, not libel.
    - And in most libel cases, the person suing has to show that there was some damage to their reputation in the eyes of the public, and usually that the damage resulted in some measurable harm to them (e.g. losing their job). Plushenko might have to show that the commentator's remarks e.g. caused him not to be booked for ice shows or not be chosen to go to competitions.

    ETA: The headline of this thread is a little misleading. It may be different in Russia, but libel is not usually a criminal act where the police or the state lay charges. If Plushenko wants someone to be "charged" with libel, he will probably have to sue the person himself.
    Last edited by overedge; 02-11-2013 at 08:04 PM.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    If he can create enough hassle for the reporter and the paper, he might be able to put a little libel chill on some of the nastier sports reporters for the future, which would not necessarily be a bad thing. Some of them go so far as to rival theatre critics. I doubt if he could cause some posters on fan sites to think before they post, but wouldn't it be nice if he could?

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    In the US, for a public figure to recover for defamation (libel or slander), there also has to be a showing of malice ... which in these cases is defined that either the reporter knew that the report was false, or, had absolutely no reasonable basis for thinking it true. That reporter relied on Israeli media reports that no one with Plushy's name was registered in any hospital may be enough to show that there was no malice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    ETA: The headline of this thread is a little misleading. It may be different in Russia, but libel is not usually a criminal act where the police or the state lay charges. If Plushenko wants someone to be "charged" with libel, he will probably have to sue the person himself.
    If I am not mistaken, the criminalization of libel was first abolished under Medvedev to be reintroduced last year under Putin, although I am not sure of the specifics of the new law

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    I've just watched 4CC Ladies FS on Russian Eurosport 2 and whilst LI Zijun was landing difficult combinations incredibly well, Zhurankov was talking and talking and talking saying that he's gonna get sued and explaining himself. I don't speak Russian so I have no clue what he actually said. Any Russian posters heard this and could help?

    I really hope this lawsuit gets thrown out by the courts. What Zhurankov said was incredibly stupid but I don't think that stupidity should be a crime.

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    Is there a clip to Zijun's program on Russian Eurosport? I volunteer to translate tonight after work. I am surprised they didn't force feed you Russian in Poland, Ziggy.

    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    - And in most libel cases, the person suing has to show that there was some damage to their reputation in the eyes of the public, and usually that the damage resulted in some measurable harm to them (e.g. losing their job). Plushenko might have to show that the commentator's remarks e.g. caused him not to be booked for ice shows or not be chosen to go to competitions.
    Thanks for the post. I think this would be key in a US court.
    Last edited by IceAlisa; 02-11-2013 at 08:41 PM.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    Is there a clip to Zijun's program on Russian Eurosport? I volunteer to translate tonight after work.
    There you go: LI Zijun - 4CC FS (Russian Eurosport 2)

    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    I am surprised they didn't force feed you Russian in Poland, Ziggy.
    That ended in 1989.

    Well some schools still had Russian because you had all those Russian teachers that you had to give some work to not mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by attyfan View Post
    In the US, for a public figure to recover for defamation (libel or slander), there also has to be a showing of malice ... which in these cases is defined that either the reporter knew that the report was false, or, had absolutely no reasonable basis for thinking it true. That reporter relied on Israeli media reports that no one with Plushy's name was registered in any hospital may be enough to show that there was no malice.
    I'm not sure you can get that sort of information by calling up Israeli hospitals - "excuse me, is so and so a patient at your hospital getting treatment for this or that"? It's not the sort of information you'd find online, either. I'm pretty sure patients would be entitled to privacy, and their information would not be shared without their consent. So even if there were such reports in the local media (and if there were, it was only in Russian-language sources, not the Hebrew-language ones) it means nothing.

    If the facts reported are true, I hope Plushenko wins. Accusing someone of faking their very real medical issues as a publicity stunt seems pretty libelous to me. It would have been different if he's wondered (but not outright stated) if maybe Plushenko and his camp were overstating the extent of the injury, but to accuse him of lying, faking it and malingering, based on no real evidence and an attempt at violation of privacy (medical confidentiality, no less) is out of line.

    ETA - here is the relevant information regarding the Israeli Patient's Rights Law:
    The obligation to maintain confidentiality regarding the treatment given to the patient is the foundation upon which the patient’s trust in the doctor is based. The importance of this obligation is such that it has been codified in agreements, regulations and laws from the time of Maimonides and until the present day. Both the Privacy Protection Law and the Patient’s Rights Law require guarding medical information. These laws are applicable for anyone treating a patient and not solely for doctors. The importance for these rules is clear; it is not necessary to emphasize, for example, the damage that might be done to an individual in certain communities if knowledge of her having an abortion was publicly known or if the facts of a businessman’s illness were known to his associates.

    The Patient’s Rights Law distinctly establishes the obligation for medical confidentiality and only permits transfer of information to a third party in the follow circumstances:
    • The information is given to a different caregiver for continuation of treatment.
    • Research purposes (in accordance with Helsinki regulations).
    • In accordance with different regulatory requirements (i.e. transfer of information to the Ministry of the Interior for purposes of issuing a firearm license; transfer of information to the National Cancer Registry; notification of infectious diseases, etc.).
    • When the patient has agreed to waive the privilege by signing a “Written Medical Confidentiality Waiver (Vasar)”.
    Somehow I don't think Plushenko sent that waiver to the people investigating his hospitalization.
    Last edited by Zemgirl; 02-11-2013 at 08:59 PM.

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    Wasn't it Mishin who told journalists that Todd Eldredge faked dislocating his shoulder during the warmup at one of the Worlds to get out of competing? I guess what goes around comes around.

    I don't see the point of the article anyway. Does anyone doubt that Plushenko has back problems after all of his years of competing? Why would he need to fake anything?

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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    Wasn't it Mishin who told journalists that Todd Eldredge faked dislocating his shoulder during the warmup at one of the Worlds to get out of competing? I guess what goes around comes around.
    How is that even relevant?

    1) Two wrongs don't make a right, unless you're 5 year old.

    2) Mishin and Plushenko are two different people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    How is that even relevant?

    1) Two wrongs don't make a right, unless you're 5 year old.

    2) Mishin and Plushenko are two different people.
    According to Plushenko "...Zhurankov slandered and insulted not only me, than also my entire team, including a genius coach Alexei Mishin,...." Plushenko is suing on behalf of his team not just himself. My point is that his team has employed the same tactics, so why is he so shocked and insulted?

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    My point is that his team has employed the same tactics, so why is he so shocked and insulted?
    I agree with Aliceanne that if you dish it out, you should be prepared to take it because it's inevitably coming back your way - that applies to Mishin.

    That said, if Plushenko went through all that pain and surgery, I can see why he's furious at the comments - I'd be furious too. Let's hope he is telling the absolute truth (I have no reason to doubt him) and that he gets an apology as that was a low blow, as was Mishin's to Eldredge.
    Last edited by Willowway; 02-11-2013 at 09:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    My point is that his team has employed the same tactics, so why is he so shocked and insulted?
    Because two wrongs don't make a right and because Plushenko is not responsible for what Mishin says.

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    oh the

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    Does this constitute libel in the legal sense? Paging our in-house lawyer. I don't expect a comment on the Russian law, US law would be fine.
    Does this really matter in the country in question?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    I'm not sure you can get that sort of information by calling up Israeli hospitals - "excuse me, is so and so a patient at your hospital getting treatment for this or that"? It's not the sort of information you'd find online, either. I'm pretty sure patients would be entitled to privacy, and their information would not be shared without their consent. So even if there were such reports in the local media (and if there were, it was only in Russian-language sources, not the Hebrew-language ones) it means nothing.
    And journalists should be able to investigate, past the privacy that would stop a common person, shouldn't they?


    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    If the facts reported are true, I hope Plushenko wins.
    Quote Originally Posted by Willowway View Post
    if Plushenko went through all that pain and surgery, I can see why he's furious at the comments - I'd be furious too.
    I'm surprised no one thought Russia is a very peculiar country. Not exactly waving the human right flag. And the two most sore points would exactly be press freedom and courts.
    I don't really care if Plushenko's right. The interest of the country and the rest of the world would very much be to let go.
    On one side there's important stuff, that affects everyone's everyday life, including the economy. On the other side there's a man who's already blessed on his own and whose life would barely register a court victory.

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