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  1. #1

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

    ISU Communication No. 1795 Decision of ISU Disciplinary Commission (June 14, 2013): http://isu.sportcentric.net/db//files/serve.php?id=4519
    On November 20, 2012, the ISU Vice President Figure Skating and the Chair of the ISU Sports Directorate filed a complaint against Ms. Natalia Kruglova, ISU Judge for Single and Pair Skating from Ukraine for alleged violations of the Duties of Judges and the ISU Code of Ethics at the 2012 Cup of Nice (France), on October 26, 2012.

    Following consideration of the alleged violations of the General Regulations and the ISU Code of Ethics, the ISU Disciplinary Commission, on May 30, 2013, rendered the following decision:
    1. Natalia Kruglova is guilty of misconduct and of violation of the duties of judges and the ISU Code of Ethics 2012.
    2. A two years suspension from participation in all ISU activities as an ISU Judge is imposed on Natalia Kruglova, beginning on December 24, 2012 (date of the provisional suspension) and ending on December 23, 2014.
    3. The Complainants and Ms. Kruglova shall bear their own costs.
    4. The costs of the hearing (room and travel expenses of the panel and the witness) are imposed on the Ukrainian Figure Skating Federation.

    This decision is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as per Article 25, paragraph 1 of the ISU Constitution 2012.

    The decisions of the Disciplinary Commission are published in full on the ISU website.
    Link to the Decision of the ISU Disciplinary Commission (May 30, 2013): http://isu.sportcentric.net/db//files/serve.php?id=4520
    Excerpt:
    III. Facts

    1. The Alleged Offender is an ISU Judge for single and pair skating from Ukraine (see ISU Communication no. 1756). At the Cup of Nice 2012 she served, among others, on the Panel of Judges for the Senior Pairs Event and the Junior Ladies Event. In his e-mail of October 30, 2012 the Event Referee of the Senior Pairs Event informed the Complainants that Ms...., an ISU Judge who served on the same Senior Pairs Judges Panel had come to him before the Short Program and told him that she had been approached by the Alleged Offender who encouraged her to give higher Grade of Execution Marks to the couple from Ukraine. Ms. ... handed over to the referee a report of an incident which took place on October 25, 2012, at the café of the ice rink in Nice. In this report Ms. ... wrote, that on entering the ice rink café she was invited by Ms. Kruglova to join her at the table. Ms. Kruglova allegedly asked her, if when judging the Senior Pairs Competition she would give the Ukrainian couple a +1 instead of a zero, as they need as many points as possible to qualify.
    ...
    Last edited by Sylvia; 06-15-2013 at 09:58 PM. Reason: To add an excerpt from the Facts section of the decision
    "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

  2. #2

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

  3. #3

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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!

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    Who were the Ukrainians competing at this event?
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    Who were the Ukrainians competing at this event?
    Julia Lavrentieva and Yuriy Rudyk

    Here are the event results links, if you want to study the protocols.
    http://nice-baie-des-anges.fr/images...html/index.htm

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    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.

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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.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    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.
    Agree with you 100%.

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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.

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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. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    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.
    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 )

    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.

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

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    "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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    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.
    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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    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".
    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.

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BreakfastClub View Post
    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 )

    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.
    Amen.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    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.
    Amen again......

  19. #19
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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 by kwanfan1818; 06-18-2013 at 06:47 PM. Reason: Spelling
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  20. #20

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

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