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Figure skating protest: South Korea Olympic Committee claims biased judging cost Yuna Kim

Medal Ceremony - Winter Olympics Day 14

SOCHI, Russia (AP) - The South Korean Olympic Committee has protested the results of the women's figure skating competition, although the sport's international governing body said Saturday it has not yet received the letter.

International Skating Union rules always have required such protests be filed immediately after the event.

The Koreans believe the judging was biased and cost Yuna Kim a second gold medal. The 2010 champion finished with silver, behind Russian teenager Adelina Sotnikova.

2014 Winter Olympics: Figure Skating Wrap-up

Much of the uproar over the women's free skate centers on what many perceived as a lack of artistry in Sotnikova's program. Yet her marks were comparable or better than those for the highly artistic Kim. Her technical marks were significantly better.

Bronze medalist Carolina Kostner of Italy also fell into the same category as Kim in her marks.

Asked to comment on South Korean media reports of the protest, International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams on Saturday said any figure skating issues would be a matter for the ISU to handle.

"They have their processes and regulations," Adams said. "From what I understand the letter wouldn't trigger any investigation."

On Friday, the ISU released a statement saying it "is confident in the high quality and integrity of the ISU judging system."The ISU said it had not received the letter, and declined to comment further.

"The ISU is strongly committed to conducting performance evaluations strictly and fairly and has adequate procedures in place to ensure the proper running of the sporting competitions," the statement said. "The officiating judges were selected by random drawing from a pool of 13 potential judges. All judges in an event represent different ISU member federations. The ladies' free skating panel included judges from Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine."

Scott Hamilton, the 1984 Olympic champion and a longtime television analyst who worked the games in Sochi for NBC, sees an intrinsic flaw in that setup. He believes the judges should be insulated from the day-to-day management of the sport, not a part of the federations that run it.

"The problem was never the scoring system," Hamilton said of the 6.0 format that was changed to the points system soon after the 2002 Games pairs scandal. "It was how the judges are selected for these competitions. What happened in Salt Lake City resulted in this scoring system not treating the issue. Every sport out there has an affiliated association of officials. They are separate from the federation, and figure skating is hesitant to do that. It is a fundamental issue that leads to people having a hard time taking the results as the results."

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HALFTIMEDALLAS February 23 2014 at 12:26 AM

Personally I don't know what to think, but who thinks the judges should be rotated daily ?

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1 reply
saultydog42 HALFTIMEDALLAS February 23 2014 at 1:11 AM

I think that the country judge should disqualify themselves when they have someone compete from their own country, they should also have only one judge each.

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sandsvegas February 23 2014 at 5:23 AM

It is what it is ... and there will probably always be some bias.

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stb1029 February 23 2014 at 5:46 AM

Why is there not a judge from the United States on that judging panel?

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2 replies
ajt1025 stb1029 February 23 2014 at 7:50 AM

We didn't pay them enough to have one of our sit on the pannel. It's all about the money honey.

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Mr. Surh stb1029 February 23 2014 at 7:53 AM

A very good quesion. It was in Russia. Expect anything different?

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drof1222 February 23 2014 at 8:13 AM


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bzzzbayte February 23 2014 at 8:14 AM


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topjmulcahy February 22 2014 at 10:21 PM

How did Tonya Harding do this year?

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
Eddie Ozment topjmulcahy February 22 2014 at 10:54 PM

She got fatter.

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gumbiee49 February 23 2014 at 8:18 AM

As well they should. That's one reason I quit watching any event that a judge is involved. They show favoritism and always have.

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Chung Shin February 23 2014 at 8:25 AM

One recommendation is to reveal how each judge scored for every contestant. In every sport, a judge/referee is accountable for his/her calls which are transparent to everyone who witnessed the game. By not revealing the manner in which they judge, it invites bias and potential corruption which can not be tolerated. Make the system transparent!

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zeejay97 February 23 2014 at 8:38 AM

I have been watching pro skating for 40 years....it's come to pass that the spectator can no longer understand a lick of how the judging and scoring works....it's disappointing and ridiculous

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HI SUSAN February 22 2014 at 5:03 PM

The Russian skater was much better on her turns and the technical portion. However, the South Korean, Kim, was excellent in the artictic portion, while the Russian skater was mechanical in her movements and in the last portion of her skating routine. What should be determined is how can these two portions (technical and artistic) be resolved; they were very different within the event beween the Russian and the South Korean skaters.

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