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Author`s name Ольга Савка

Olympic scandal: Russian gymnasts claim biased judgment

The biased judgment could be seen already after the first exercise

Russian female gymnasts, who have recently clinched bronze medals in team competitions, complain of biased judgment. One of the Russian squad leaders, Elena Zamolodchikova, told RIA Novosti “judges were too much faultfinding against Russian gymnasts.” In particular, Zamolodchikova said, it refers to balance beam, parallel bars and free exercises.

One of the Russian sports gymnastics coaches, Natalia Pavlova, believes “judges were too biased against Russian girls.” “They planned to give us the fifth or the sixth place. They decided, for some reason, that we do not have skilful gymnasts, although we have proved the opposite and won the bronze medal. However, our team deserved medals of higher value,” Pavlova said. “We would have ranked second, if judges had not deducted a tenth of a point in our every exercise. One could see, though, our athletes were nervous; it refers to Romanian, Chinese and American athletes too. On the whole, I believe Russian gymnasts have earned the silver medal,” the coach concluded.

”The biased judgment could be seen already after the first exercise. They put us on the third place in the beginning of the competition. It was obviously hard to compete with leading teams in such situation,” Russian gymnast Anna Pavlova said.

Pavlova's teammate Lyudmila Ezhova emphasized “the athletes performed very well, they pushed through and exercised strong team morale.” “This bronze medal is like a gold medal for us,” Yezhova said.

The Russian women's gymnastics squad has clinched bronze medals in Athens. Svetlana Khorkina, Anna Pavlova, Elena Zamolodchikova, Natalia Ziganshina and Lyudmila Yezhova performed in the team. Romanian athletes have won the gold medal; the silver medal has been awarded to US athletes.