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Notes from Sochi: Figure skating judging collusion alleged

  • February 8, 2014 - 5:50 PM

Figure skating judging collusion alleged

Before the Sochi Olympics were 48 hours old, the first allegations of shady dealings in figure skating judging surfaced. The source was the French magazine L’Equipe, which wrote Saturday that the United States and Russia are conspiring to help one another in the pairs and ice dance events, with Canada’s reigning Olympic dance champions, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, paying the price.

Quoting an unidentified Russian coach, the magazine reported that the U.S. had agreed to help Russia win the pairs and team event. In exchange, it reported, Russia would help U.S. ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White, the reigning world champions, win gold.

Davis and White train in the same Michigan rink, under the same coaches, as their Canadian rivals.

U.S. Figure Skating called the report “categorically false.”

Hockey rosters redeveloping

• Finland chose Kontinental Hockey League teammates to replace Tampa Bay Lightning forward Valtteri Filppula and Wild forward. Jarkko Immonen and Sakari Salminen of the KHL’s Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod were added to the Olympic roster.

• Slovakia’s Olympic campaign took another blow when New York Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky pulled out of the Sochi tournament. The 37-year-old veteran has recovered from an Oct. 19 concussion, but Slovakia General Manager Otto Sykora said Visnovky still didn’t feel fit enough to play. No replacement has been selected.

Track star positioned to match her medal

Lauryn Williams was selected Saturday to push the USA-1 sled driven by Elana Meyers at the Sochi Olympics. That decision legitimizes her chance of becoming only the second person to win gold at the Summer and Winter Games, after she helped the U.S. win the 4x100-meter relay at the London Games two years ago.

White defends his decision

Shaun White, in his first interview since announcing he was skipping the Olympic slopestyle contest, said he is at peace with his decision to focus solely on the event in which he’s won two straight gold medals and will go for a third on Tuesday.

“I can understand if it’s your first time to the Olympics, you wouldn’t understand a decision like the one I made,” he said Saturday. “But you set your goals according to what’s important to you. Halfpipe is important to me, and I didn’t want to jeopardize that.”

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