There is another scandal in Salt Lake City, there has been a campaign started against the Russian athletes, Gennady Shvets, the press representative of the Russian Olympic Committee believes.
Russian athlete Olga Koroleva fell the victim of that campaign yesterday. The coaches said she was totally condemned. Koroleva was the leader (after the first try) among women in the acrobatic freestyle competition. Her second try was perfect, but the judges gave the lower scores to it. The Canadian judge John Baler and American David Farrar were the ones, who were setting the scores too low. Olga Koroleva was supposed to be the winner, but she was left far beyond the line of the winners, letting an Australian and two Canadian athletes enjoy the medals.
The home sports officials suddenly realized that that was a mess, abuse of discretion. The Russian ORT television cited the president of the freestyle federation of Russia, Lev Lofman: “I have to say that the victories of the Canadian athletes were far-fetched. I was very surprised about those scores, given by the Canadian and American judges. Koroleva was the leader after her first try, leaving her competitors behind, Olga gained 97.65 points. I was sure that if her second try was as perfect as the first one, then nothing could stop her from the victory. Her second jump was very good, there were practically no mistakes in it, her landing was absolutely fine.”
Valentina Matviyenko, the vice-premier of the Russian government claimed that the judgement was subjective both in figure skating and in freestyle competitions. “We have already discussed this subject with the chairman of the International Olympic Committee. The system of the judgement must be changed, since the subjective moments are being taken into account more and more often.”
The National Olympic Committee of Russia sent a letter to the International federation of ski sports, expressing the protest against the results of the mentioned competitions, and asking to analyze the results professionally.
The president of the National Olympic Committee, Leonid Tyagachev, said he was going to carry it through, and even appeal at the International Olympic Committee, if necessary. Russia will insist on the cancellation of the results of the freestyle competition. Gennady Shvets said that they were not going to get to the justice, for “if we do not stop this campaign, then no one knows, what it may lead to eventually.”
Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov