The French magazine L’Equipe is reporting that Russian and American judges have allegedly agreed to a vote-swapping deal and will collude against Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir from repeating their gold medal performance at Vancouver 2010.
According to the magazine’s unnamed “senior Russian coach” source, the terms of the alleged agreement will have the Americans assist Russia in the new figure skating team event while the Russians will back American ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White.
Both the Russians and the Americans will win a gold medal for these events, at the expense of Virtue and Moir.
The pressure is on Russia to perform well after failing to win a gold medal in figure skating events at the 2010 Games. For the Americans, Davis and White won silver in Vancouver, coming just behind their friends Virtue and Moir.
The Canadian ice dance duo are seen as strong contenders for the gold medal title, but it is expected to be a close finish against Davis and White.
This comes ten years after the Salt Lake 2002 figure skating scandal when Canadian pairs skaters Jamie Sale and David Pelletier were nearly denied of a gold medal. After a media storm over scoring abnormalities, a French judge admitted that she had been pressured to vote for the Russian pair regardless of how the Canadians performed.
Sale and Pelletier were originally awarded silver, but it was later replaced with gold medal following the revelations of the fix.
The 2002 figure skating scandal led to the revamp of the judge’s scoring system in order to make it more objective. The new scoring system was established as the mandatory system for all international competitions beginning in 2006, including the Torino 2006 Winter Games.
Image: Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir via Shutterstock