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The ISU created anonymous judging to purposely assist cheating

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by ToFarAwayTimes, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member


    Amantide, I'm not familiar with the situations you mentioned above. But, assuming they took place as you describe, then I would say no, those situations are not any more okay/acceptable than the Shekhovtseva/Sotnikova hug.

    I don't think anyone feels that the S/S hug proves anything. I think what people feel is it illustrates there is not enough separation between judges/federations/skaters. That the relationships are too close. Perhaps close enough to change the outcome of the most important event in the sport.
    satine94 likes this.
  2. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

  3. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Given the facts that
    1) skaters developed at local and then national level through clubs and federations before ever reaching international competition levels and continue to interact with those bodies while competing at international levels
    2) skaters and officials represent their national federations in international events
    3) all officials spend years volunteering through their federations as they rise through the ranks to achieve international assignments and often continue to judge and/or serve in other volunteer capacities nationally and locally in addition to internationally, some of which includes direct interaction with current elite and up-and-coming competitors
    4) most officials have personal connections with local clubs, often going back to their own days as skaters (if not necessarily elite competitors)
    5) assignments of officials to international events often take place months before each federation's team of skaters is selected

    How should unacceptable conflicts of interest between officials and skaters be defined? What rules/procedures should be in place to minimize situations that present such conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof?
  4. ToFarAwayTimes

    ToFarAwayTimes Well-Known Member

    Shekhovtseva was specifically sent to every single one of Sotnikova's events the past year. She was Sotnikova's personal handler. That is more than conflict of interest.

    This thread is aimed directly at the ISU, however, and not at Russian federation or Ms. Shekhovtseva. The problem is that the ISU doesn't think cheating or conflicts of interest are a problem at all. The problem is that the ISU would rather create a ridiculous scoring system and hide the identity of the judges to hide cheating, rather than work to eliminate cheating in the first place. That's what this really comes down to. Instead of cleaning up the sport post-2002, the ISU said nah...we can't be bothered with that, let's just create the most ridiculous scoring system we can possibly think of, that way nobody will understand it or be able to question the results ever again.

    The following chain of events is exactly why figure skating is in the dumpster right now:

    1. 2002 cheating scandal goes viral
    2. IOC threatens ISU to not let it ever happen again, or figure skating will get banned from the Olympics
    3. ISU passes on the opportunity to clean up the sport
    4. Instead, ISU takes action to make sure that cheating will never again be exposed
    5. In order to accomplish that objective, ISU:
    -hides judge identities to prevent repeat of what happened to French judge
    -creates ridiculous scoring system with so many loopholes and backdoors that most people no longer feel confident enough to question suspicious results

    ...and oh by the way, the scoring system isn't really adhered to by the judges or the technical panel ... it's really just ordinal judging in disguise!

    6. fans hate anonymous judging, and they hate the opaque and ridiculous scoring system they can't understand and seems to reward sloppy skating
    7. fans tune out and give up figure skating as a sport
    8. $$$ disappear from figure skating; ISU begins sliding down the slope to eventual bankruptcy

    9. ISU could see the writing on the wall and change course ... but nah, they'd rather lie to everyone and say that nothing's wrong, but let's eliminate short programs anyway, because we can't afford them anymore

    10. ???
  5. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    I agree with this, and that the ISU wanted to ensure that another scandal like SLC didn't happen again.

    But that doesn't mean it explicitly created the new system to assist cheating. That would indicate it had an express intention to promote corrupt and dishonest judging and prohibit fair and honest judging, which isn't the case.

    The ISU simply doesn't care. And a lot of judges are honest judges.

    The new system isn't the most ridiculous scoring system imaginable. IMO it has a lot of merit.

    The problems with the system are caused by how the judges use it. The problems are identified on this board regularly, such as the corridor in PCS, judges' failure to adjust PCS for a good vs. poor skate, manipulation of GOE. But those problems can be addressed.

    And, I don't foresee the death of Figure Skating as a result of IJS, ToFarAwayTimes. There have always been corruption issues and bias in figure skating judging. Casual fans don't care. And it doesn't seem that more serious fans are being driven away, either. Rather, they just spend a lot of time complaining about IJS and crying doom and gloom, just as you are doing here.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
    satine94 likes this.
  6. misskarne

    misskarne #AustraliaForTheTeamEvent

    But that's exactly the argument of the Yunabots. That the hug PROVES it was a fix. That Adelina would have been on top of the world and, I imagine, hugging everyone in sight - I know I would be! - seems irrelevant to them, or relevant only as a bash: she should have mourned, and cried, and wept, and laid her medal down as she grovelled at Queen Yuna's feet.

    I remember when I saw the photo of the Japanese judge taking a selfie with Yuzuru - it was even before the Olympics, I think. And I remember thinking, "Wow, that's not cool." I wasn't just thinking of the international skaters; I was thinking, imagine being another Japanese skater, seeing that?

    I've sat on data entry at competition. And I have photos with skaters who I was on panels for at that competition. Did I think anything of it at the time? Of course not. I, like pretty much everyone else involved in this sport, am a fan of skating; the opportunity came up to take a photo with a skater I admired. I took it. Could others have seen that and then seen me sitting behind that screen and drawn conclusions? Well, they could try. It's all very complex. Judges and technical specialists are human too.

    (Actually, that reminds me of one of the most stupid, hilarious arguments that proved it was only about Yuna losing that I read on another board: the fact that the Data Operator and Replay Operator were Russian PROVED that it was a fix!!!!!!!!! I actually fell off a chair laughing about that.)
    clairecloutier likes this.
  7. misskarne

    misskarne #AustraliaForTheTeamEvent

    Some are more lenient than others. And then when that happens, we get huge blow-ups about the composition of the US Ladies' Olympic team, when a harder technical panel would have rendered the whole argument moot in the first place...
  8. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

    An interesting point you bring up. What's quite acceptable, or unremarkable, at a local or regional event is often not going to be acceptable or advisable on the World or Olympic level. As much as figure skating is a very small world, still, there must be a higher level of accountability and conduct expected at the largest events IMO. At the Olympics, the decisions of a judge or technical specialist have huge financial & career implications for not only the skaters involved, but also the sport as a whole sometimes. The closest level of scrutiny & consideration should be given to their selection and the monitoring of their performance and conduct.
    satine94 likes this.
  9. gotoschool

    gotoschool Well-Known Member

    I like your idea of the ISU instituting an overall plan to fix results because I noticed at 2014 Worlds that a Japanese tech judge presided over what I and many other posters view as very harsh and in many cases bogus tech calls against Japanese skaters in the long program. Please correct me if I am wrong about a Japanese person being head of the tech crew. My purpose is not to go into disputing the results because fortunately these tech calls did not make a difference in the competition, since the competition was not close, but to use it as a case study of how manipulation could occur across multiple competitions. Of course, if the competition was close, these kind of tech calls would make a difference.

    The rationale of many posters was that since an uproar had been raised about Russian skaters receiving complete immunity from ur or edge calls at Sochi, then in order to preclude the same commotion at worlds, extra stringent calls were made against Japanese skaters. All you have to do is look at the protocols in the long program to see the incredible difference in tech deductions. Why would a Japanese tech judge conspire to make or ratify controversial tech calls that have been widely criticized against his own skaters unless it was agreed upon by the ISU as a policy meant to simmer down discontent and he or she was just following orders? The Japanese tech judge could also be used as "cover" for the bad tech calls. Even if a Japanese person was not head of the crew, there was still one on the panel for "cover." Of course, the upshot of this is that the Russian skaters end up getting the advantage overall because the "home team," in this case Japan, does not get the same advantage as Russia when they are at home, and in fact may have been more heavily penalized to compensate for the Russians not being penalized at all. This is an absurd rationale but it seems completely plausible when looking at the protocols. This shows that the present system is unworkable because skaters are not getting equitable treatment across competitions, and this is only considering tech calls. What about PCS or GOE on jumps that haven't been called , which I believe have been manipulated even more so?

    In my opinion, the treatment could become even more inequitable because of the new harsher ur rules that are being instituted this year, which gives tech crews the opportunity to more easily manipulate results. Now, the tech crew can more easily focus the instant replay camera on one skater but not another in order to get the results they want: reputational scoring can be used to some extent as justification and as a self fulfilling prophecy since the tech crew establishes reputation in the first place. Again, the rule may not be instituted for this purpose specifically but what difference does it make if the effect is to make rigging easier to carry out.

    At Worlds 2014, the ISU has already presented us with the absurdity of skaters receiving around +1-1.5 GOE for jumps in the long program from the judges but mysterious getting ur calls by the tech crew, which then drops the base value and then the GOE to around O. Punishment twice for the same crime (ur) when half the jury (the judges) thought the jump was perfect. Imagine explaining this to a casual fan trying to understand the scoring system for the first time, especially now that the penalties are even harsher. What a great way to encourage fairness, clarity, simplicity and to increase the viewing audience. In my opinion, this bipolar judging is a laughingstock meant for the loony bin not international competition.

    How can scores be seriously discussed when the tech crew and the judges appear to be looking at two totally different jumps in a performance: one perfectly executed, the other not even rotated? And how is it fair for one "home team" to get off scott free on tech calls and another "home team" to receive extra deductions because the first "home team" didn't get any? I totally agree that there will never be any fair scoring as long as the ISU is in control. The whole organization is likely "infected" with cheating so that the whole governing body is diseased like a dilapidated building meant for demolition. This is my belief. To me, it's sad to think such a beautiful sport is being ruined by old sleezy Mafia types on the take for potential payoffs which decide scores and results and by speed skaters where power and speed is king to exclusion of skaters with more beautiful lines, elegance and symmetry in jumps and movement, especially in women's figure skating . I love your reference to the elephant in the room because his presence became obvious at Sochi when he went on a rampage for all the world to see. Now, he's out of the closet permanently.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014