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Speculations on Russian fraud judging in figure skating “groundless”

February 21, 2014, 19:03 UTC+3 21
Yulia Lipnitskaya’s coach Eteri Tutberidze says it is just unethical to highlight the fact that one of the judges is married to the general director of the Figure Skating Federation of Russia
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© EPA/BARBARA WALTON

SOCHI, February 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Coach of the Olympic figure skating champion Adelina Sotnikova, Yelena Buyanova, and Yulia Lipnitskaya’s coach Eteri Tutberidze believe that speculations about a Russian lobby in judging the figure skating contest in Sochi are utterly groundless.

“It is just unethical to highlight the fact that one of the judges, a famous Russian judge Alla Shekhovtsova, is married to the general director of the Figure Skating Federation of Russia, Valentin Piseev,” Tutberidze told foreign journalists. “My view is absolutely objective, and I am sure Sotnikova's deserved the first place in the long program. She had a more interesting and complicated program than Korean skater Yuna Kim, and she performed the elements far cleaner.”

Buyanova echoed her colleague saying Shekhovtsova was a well-respected judge long before the marriage, “She represented Russia at major international tournaments, and I have never heard any grievances about her rulings from abroad. She is a high-class professional.”

Commenting on claims by US figure skater Ashley Wagner who was 7th and promptly called in question the marks awarded to Russian lady skaters, Buyanova said: “Wagner seems to be a hypocrite. Immediately after the competition she warmly congratulated Adelina and said Sotnikova was the best."

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