Decisions of the ISU Council: Stockholm Worlds (March 22-28) still on; Synchro Worlds cancelled; 2021 Grand Prix schedule/Beijing test event announced

Cherub721

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Now that they've confirmed the test result didn't come back until after the RD, there's really nothing they can say. It's very unfortunate that he had a false positive, but it was positive as of competition time so there is nothing the ISU could have done. I do agree that it's wrong if someone verbally told him the re-test was positive when it wasn't, so "investigate" that but that has nothing to do with the Olympics. The press release on GS said the ISU has agreed to meet with them, so the ISU can apologize for that aspect and then they can go to Nebelhorn.
 

misskarne

Handy Emergency Backup Mode
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21,233
What is their end game? I don’t see the point in their trying to find a target for their anger and disappointment. This immaturity is going to turn people against them.
The cynic in me actually thinks that they figured out that we might not make the Olympics on our ice-skating quality but we’re going to use this to force our way into the games.
Like Carolla, perhaps I am also too cynical but I also think their endgame is trying to force the ISU to give them a spot. They will of course lose that argument - but I wonder if they realise that it is the nuclear option.

If they are being advised to take this course of action they are being advised very poorly. They are beginning to come across as selfish and uncaring. This wasn't some rule the ISU implemented on a whim. This was a health protocol the ISU had to implement in response to a global event none of us have ever seen the likes of in our lifetimes.

If they continue with this theme I can't imagine that the response from the judges, panels, and even other skaters will be particularly kindly. Certainly, if I had been in their warm-up group, I wouldn't be in a hurry to forget that they believed they should be allowed to skate with a positive test.

The thing is, I'm sure the ISU did what they could, but a lot of this is entirely outside of their control. I'm sure they asked the lab to be as quick as they could, but the lab's speed at processing the test isn't exactly something they have power over.
 

marbri

Hey, Kool-Aid!
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Where exactly do they say this was a conspiracy specifically to keep them out? Did they say that or are people here assuming that?

Btw they attended at least two ice dance practices in Stockholm and possibly the gala:

Let that sink in for a moment and ask yourself what exactly were the protocols at Worlds because they were in the bubble after initially testing negative and interacting with their coaches and therefore half the ice dance field (and then some).

I absolutely don't think this was a conspiracy against them. But there is a much bigger issue that I feel most here are overlooking. If you write this off as the whining of some Z-list ice dance team from Armenia and don't review your procedures (let's use review instead of investigate) then you aren't preparing yourself for the coming season when something like this could happen again.

Maybe going forward there should be two samples taken each time like they do for drug tests. Have different people taking the swabs, running the test and doing the analysis and then compare. And also make a clear plan for what happens once someone is in the bubble and then tests positive. How does that affect the skaters and coaches they come into contact with? Because here when someone tests positive all their contacts are notified to self-isolate for 14 days but there the competition carried on for all in their practice groups and their coaches continued on with all their other teams. Surely someone in the ISU or organizing committee must have thought "shit, what do we do now" and decided "f**k it, let's just carry on without them and let the rest compete".

As for the team in question. If it turns out that this was an avoidable error the ISU can at least reimburse them for any travel and competition expenses.
 

tony

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It's something that can happen and every skater in the world who paid any attention prior to Worlds had the example of Paige Rydberg having the same thing happen to her at US Nats. Did she turn around and openly complain, suggest she would've placed high enough to get funding for next season, etc? AFAIK, all she did was post an Instagram message afterwards sharing what a bummer it was and clearing that she didn't actually have CV.

Need I remind some posters on this very board that they jumped ALL OVER her withdrawal as a reason why the event shouldn't have gone on, only to end up saying zero once it was revealed it was a false positive? There is nothing the ISU could've done different. And I'm still sticking by the idea that if a chance at their Olympic dreams was taken away, they have more than enough of a chance to do so at Nebelhorn. It's not like it's all over and they now have to sit four years and wait. Rydberg doesn't have another chance for placement or funding, which is also unfortunate but so are practice collisions and injuries that happen during events.
 

Aceon6

Isolating from mean people
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they have more than enough of a chance to do so at Nebelhorn.
Agree. And they’ve put themselves in a no win situation, IMO. If they get a spot at Nebelhorn, some will look for sympathy scoring. If they don’t, they’ve burned a lot of bridges.
 

MsZem

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16,488
I'm really surprised their coaches haven't tried to steer them away from this. Tina and Simon are doing themselves a disservice here, and the lack of public support from other skaters is striking. Unless I missed something?
 

Miezekatze

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I doubt this is going to play as much a role in one year ,when I'd guess pretty much all senior athletes will be vaccinated. Protocols migth by different then, tests improved (if even needed), ...

Personally I think they are behaving childish. AFAIK in all the European alpine skiing, ski jumping, ... events a positive test meant you're out, regardless of what the exact circumstances. There's lots of athletes who were affected by the *********.

Angelique Kerber flew all the way to Australia from Europe for Australian Open, then sat in a hotel room with closed windows for 2 weeks and couldn't train, because there was a positive person on her flight to Australia that she had nothing to do with, then lost in the first round and flew back home. And she was neither infected, nor even tested positively, just had some bad luck with the flight she had booked to australia. And she didn't complain one bit about the rule, took it as a good sport.
 
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michalle

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5,421
In fairness, there were quite a few tennis players who did complain about that whole situation though...

It's tough, we're observers but this is their lives. But I agree that Tina and Simon would have been better off handling this in a different way and there's probably not much the ISU could do.
 

Cherub721

YEAH!
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17,308
Angelique Kerber flew all the way to Australia from Europe for Australian Open, then sat in a hotel room with closed windows for 2 weeks and couldn't train, because there was a positive person on her flight to Australia that she had nothing to do with, then lost in the first round and flew back home. And she was neither infected, nor even tested positively, just had some bad luck with the flight she had booked to australia. And she didn't complain one bit about the rule, took it as a good sport.

That does call into question the ISU's protocol in one respect. If Simon tested positive, then why wasn't there contact tracing on his coaches, their other students, and other skaters in their warm up group? I was trying to find the ISU's c0vid protocols but couldn't.
 

Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, Three A's, T&M, P&C
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I feel there is no perfect way to handle this whole situation. It is the first time Worlds was conducted under these trying circumstances. I think everyone, including the ISU deserves a pass. The skaters are understandably frustrated due to a missed opportunity.

Our whole world was turned upside down early part of 2020. The World championships didn't even take place. The ISU and the hosts did their best to not have to cancel them again. Kudos to them For that. It wasn't perfect but they did the best they could. It is time to learn from what happened, make corrections for the future and move on. Hopefully the skaters will accept this as 'just life' and move on To their next competition (next season).
 

Lemonade20

If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
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I feel there is no perfect way to handle this whole situation. It is the first time Worlds was conducted under these trying circumstances. I think everyone, including the ISU deserves a pass. The skaters are understandably frustrated due to a missed opportunity. Our world was turned upside down early part of 2020. The World championships didn't even take place. The ISU and the hosts did their best to not have to cancel them again. Kudos to them For that. It wasn't perfect but they did the best they could. It is time to learn and move on. Hopefully the skaters will accept this as 'just life' and move on.
Agreed, it's strange times. Take the hit and move on, there's nothing they can do. Whining/complaining just makes them look worse.
 

michalle

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There was contact tracing, they said the close contacts tested negative as part of the announcement about the third positive test I think. It sounds like from something I saw yesterday (an interview with Piper/Paul after their medal on CBC) that everyone was tested every day as well throughout Worlds, but I'm not 100% sure, that's just what it sounded like from what they said to me.
 

Frau Muller

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While I’m sorry for the Armenian dance team’s experience with the ***** test in Stockholm, they can still go to Nebelhorn to try to earn one of the wild-card spots for the Olys. (Confirmed possible)
 
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Sonata

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That CTV news report says that they got the second positive result "as they were leaving Stockholm". So are the athletes allowed to board a flight home after a positive test? They're not required to quarantine? This of course could be an error on the part of the journalist. I find it unrealistic that Swedish public health authorities would let them board a plane.
 

Mme Bovary

Member
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I'm really surprised their coaches haven't tried to steer them away from this. Tina and Simon are doing themselves a disservice here, and the lack of public support from other skaters is striking. Unless I missed something?
I've been wondering about that myself.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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That CTV news report says that they got the second positive result "as they were leaving Stockholm". So are the athletes allowed to board a flight home after a positive test? They're not required to quarantine? This of course could be an error on the part of the journalist. I find it unrealistic that Swedish public health authorities would let them board a plane.
That doesn't jive with the other things that have been reported though. Sloppy reporting on the part of CTV?
 

Vagabond

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That doesn't jive with the other things that have been reported though. Sloppy reporting on the part of CTV?
Jibe.


If you listen to the embedded video, the reporter says, "as they were leaving Stockholm," but the clip immediately goes to the point in Simon Proulx-Sénécal's video where he says, "at the end of the competition."

It's sloppy reporting. No jive!
 

Sonata

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If you listen to the embedded video, the reporter says, "as they were leaving Stockholm," but the clip immediately goes to the point in Simon Proulx-Sénécal's video where he says, "at the end of the competition."

It's sloppy reporting. No jive!

Even though he said, "end of the competition", he may have meant end of SD. It's not very clear. Maybe no one wanted to explain the difference between SD and FD ;) In any case, it does not sound like quarantining in Sweden was discussed. Let's hope this doesn't happen at WTT.
 

Sylvia

U.S. Qualifying season is underway!
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Bumping this thread back up because there's an article today in the Boston Globe article by Tara Sullivan (June 19):
Excerpts:
Because here's the climax: Subsequent tests not only proved that Simon was never positive, but showed that his second test was negative also, despite what he was told.
The International Skating Union began an investigation, but the pair has yet to hear of any resolution.
"There are so many unanswered questions," Lisa Lazarus, their lawyer, told the Globe. Having spent a decade working for the NFL in grievance arbitration cases (with the Patriots among other teams), Lazarus, a partneer at Morgan Sports Law, specializes now in sports disputes. "It's so hard to say now what happened, but clearly some confusion in the records, and not very well or no established procedures to follow, led to this.
I think there weren't minimal systems in place. We can't allow *********, while of couse such an important pubic health concern, to undermine an athlete's rights."
"We don't know who to blame and we don't know how all of this story happened," Simon said, speaking with the Globe alongide Tina and Lazarus on a recent Zoom call. [...] "The whole point of an athlete is to do their job and the fact that ********* is a factor, of course things should be done in consideration to this new thing, but there has to be a process in place that will prevent things like this from happening," said Tina. "Do a test two days before, just in case, or have more rapid testing, other options that would have prevented this from happening to us. I hope other organizations and Olympic committees take this seriously and I hope it's fixed for everyone else in the future."
And it's impossible not to wonder -- had this been a pair from a medal-contending country like the US or Russia, might there have been more urgency? Of course that shouldn't matter -- the basic ideal of the Olympics is to respect all competition equally, without regard to fame or fortune. But if that ideal is difficult to uphold in the best of times, this unprecedented ********* situation may have further exposed unfair disparities.

It's something that can happen and every skater in the world who paid any attention prior to Worlds had the example of Paige Rydberg having the same thing happen to her at US Nats. Did she turn around and openly complain, suggest she would've placed high enough to get funding for next season, etc? AFAIK, all she did was post an Instagram message afterwards sharing what a bummer it was and clearing that she didn't actually have CV.

Need I remind some posters on this very board that they jumped ALL OVER her withdrawal as a reason why the event shouldn't have gone on, only to end up saying zero once it was revealed it was a false positive?
Re-posting an article here from the U.S. Ladies news thread in which Paige Rydberg explained the chain of events that led to her wirhdrawal from U.S Nationals:
Excerpt:
Once arriving in Las Vegas for Nationals on Jan. 11, Rydberg took a required *********-19 test and settled into her hotel room for the night. The next morning, Rydberg woke up early and checked her phone. That’s when she learned that she had received a positive *********-19 result.
“I’m like, ‘It is six in the morning. I don’t wake up at six in the morning. This is too early. This is just not the right time to find this out,’” Rydberg explained of her initial reaction to her result.
Once she realized that what she was seeing wasn’t a dream, Rydberg followed the protocols set up by U.S. Figure Skating. She contacted the team doctor, who notified her that she wasn’t allowed to enter the bubble and that she would be forced to withdraw from the competition. The protocols also stated that a second test would not be administered and that Rydberg would have to leave immediately.
“It was hard to be alone. I was devastated, and I couldn’t believe this was happening,” she admitted, noting she was held up in her hotel room alone for almost 12 hours. “I was looking out the window of my hotel room and saw everybody walk to practice, and I was stuck there (in my hotel room). It was mentally really hard.”
Once [her mom] arrived in Vegas, the two were escorted out of the Orleans Hotel by hotel staff, using a separate elevator and door from those in the bubble. They were then sent to a different hotel twenty minutes away, where U.S. Figure Skating had arranged rooms for athletes, coaches and officials in the event that anyone tested positive. The next day, Rydberg and Koris drove back to Colorado Springs. Showing no apparent symptoms, Rydberg took another *********-19 test Jan. 13 during her trip home, stopping in a town in Utah. She received a negative result the next day.
“I actually got the email when I was sitting on my couch, watching the ladies short program,” Rydberg mentioned. “That was really hard. To be sitting on my couch in the (Colorado) Springs, with the negative test result in my hands, while all my friends are out there competing.”
“They (U.S. Figure Skating) had to follow protocol, so I couldn’t really question it. I just had to do what they said,” she added.
After being advised by a doctor, Rydberg took another *********-19 test Jan. 15, which also came back negative.
 
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Rhumba d’Amour

Active Member
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Man that Armenian couple must have money to hire all that publicity.
Not only that, but they’ve hired a lawyer—a specialist in sports arbitration law, at that. That can’t have come cheap! Excerpt from article:

...Lisa Lazarus, their lawyer, told the Globe. Having spent a decade working for the NFL in grievance arbitration cases (with the Patriots among her teams), Lazarus, a partner at Morgan Sports Law, specializes now in protecting athletes’ rights in sports disputes.
 

tony

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What I don't get is why the Armenians don't think they can just earn the spot at Nebelhorn. Is the situation unfortunate? Yes. Was it their last chance to get to the Olympics? No.

If you were going to get the ticket at Worlds, Nebelhorn is going to be a hell of a lot easier.

That, and the journalists need to stop with the 'Olympic dreams taken away' narratives, but I suspect that's coming from the skaters themselves.

Garabedian's father (or both parents) is very successful IIRC, so hiring the big-time lawyer probably wasn't too difficult.
 

VGThuy

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I remember when I was young when I would have actually thought an ice dance couple from Armenia were local skaters from the country rather than two Canadians (one of Lebanese descent) who bought their way to Armenian citizenship just so they could buy their way into the Olympics. Not to take away all the hard work they put in to at least be in the running for the final entry spots.

Something I would have brought up against Lazarus’ claims that they were victims of being from a small federation and thus painting them as poor and put-upon.
 

kwanfan1818

RIP D-10
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I remember when I was young when I would have actually thought an ice dance couple from Armenia were local skaters from the country rather than two Canadians (one of Lebanese descent) who bought their way to Armenian citizenship just so they could buy their way into the Olympics. Not to take away all the hard work they put in to at least be in the running for the final entry spots.
You mean like the nine-time National champions Fraser(-Lukanin)/Lukanin, who represented Azerbaijan for a decade, starting in 2000, and who went to two OWG and nine Euros, and among whose coaches were Morozov and Zhulin? He was born in Yekaterinburg when it was still in the Soviet Union and competed for Russia and Germany before Azerbaijan. She was born in Palo Alto, and the running joke for years is that they didn't have time for her (and possibly him) to actually step foot in Azerbaijan while they were training.
 

VGThuy

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You mean like the nine-time National champions Fraser(-Lukanin)/Lukanin, who represented Azerbaijan for a decade, starting in 2000, and who went to two OWG and nine Euros, and among whose coaches were Morozov and Zhulin? He was born in Yekaterinburg when it was still in the Soviet Union and competed for Russia and Germany before Azerbaijan. She was born in Palo Alto, and the running joke for years is that they didn't have time for her (and possibly him) to actually step foot in Azerbaijan while they were training.
Exactly. Or like the fourth tier American gymnasts who competed for Belarus at the 2015 world gymnastics championships and one of them got the lone Belorussian spot for the 2016 Olympics. I don’t think they even knew where Belarus was on a map. Further infuriating fans was that when interviewed they would say things like “it’s not the ideal situation” or “it’s not how we imagined to be competing at Worlds but…”. Like they didn’t even try to better inform themselves of the country they were competing for.

Is the Azerbaijan skating fed still selling membership status with guarantees of expedited citizenship?
 

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