Big article in the Glove and Mail by Beverly Smith today about how ice
dancing results were fixed for SLC. (As usual someone more computer
literate than me will have to provide a link.)
Please note that this article is sourced to a single unidentified
individual, which makes me a little nervous, but anyway, here's what this
source has to say:
- The Italian and Russian federations had agreed several months before
SLC to have Fusar-Poli and Margaglio win the Olympic gold.
- This plan was thrown into disarray when FP+M ended up fourth at the
Grand Prix final, and the Russians realized how easy it would be for
Lobacheva and Averbukh to win in SLC.
- The revised plan for SLC was for Anissina and Peizerat to win the
compulsories and the OD, and for L/A to win the FD and hence the gold.
- This plan got scuttled when the Israeli judge was "only" drawn as a
substitute for the FD panel, and thus could not support L/A as planned, so
A/P won the gold.
- A/P were told that if they went to Nagano they would be "dumped" so they
decided to turn pro after the Olys.
- The source says that Valentin Piseev, the head of the Russian
federation, "has such power in figure skating that he controls everything
in Europe." There isn't one show or event in Europe that doesn't include a
Russian skater, and the Russians have consistently produced strong
skaters. The Russians have a system of influence that "works to build up
reputations of their skaters or destroy the reputation of opponents, aside
from exerting political influence."
- The source also says that Canadians and Americans are not good at
playing political skating games. "The Canadians and Americans treat
skating like a business. The Russians just want to win."
- The source also says if Slutskaia were an American and Kwan were a
Russian "you wouldn't see Slutskaia in the top five."