Winter Olympics: Rogge: Figure skating judging 'impeccable'
By STEPHEN WILSON
AP Sports Writer
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Judging of the figure skating competitions at the Vancouver Olympics was “absolutely impeccable,” International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said Sunday.
Evgeni Plushenko has complained bitterly about the results of the men’s competition, where the Russian finished second to American Evan Lysacek despite being the only top contender to land a clean quadruple jump. But there is nothing to criticize, Rogge said.
“Let me say this very clearly: The IOC has discussed this with the International Skating Union, the judging has been absolutely impeccable, there is nothing to criticize the judges,” Rogge said. “They have applied the system that has been approved.”
Figure skating adopted its current judging system after the pairs scandal at the Salt Lake City Olympics, which led the IOC to award a duplicate set of gold medals. While the new system is designed to reduce the possibility of cheating, it has also required skaters to become more versatile.
Plushenko did a quad, but the overall quality of Lysacek’s program was better. The reigning world champion also got bonus points for doing five of his eight jumping passes in the second half of the program.
Plushenko wants the value of the quad to be increased so more skaters will be encouraged to try it. Lysacek is the first man to win the Olympic title without doing a quad since 1994. But any changes to figure skating’s judging system would have to come from the ISU, Rogge said.
“The fact is that the ISU has another view and prefers the versatility of the athlete, and gives a greater value on spins, on transitions, on small steps,” said Rogge, who was at the men’s final and who called Plushenko a “great champion.”
“This is something to be decided by the sports authorities,” Rogge added. “If Plushenko wants things to be changed, he has to ask his own Russian federation to work at the level of the ISU to adapt the rules.”