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…and the amazing thing is that we owe it to the US of A.

If this incident had not occurred in front of a seething media desperate for a news story other than the heightened security at the Olympics, we’d have been screwed just like in Ross Rebagliati’s and Silken Laumann’s cases.


—- gureskating_dc_53&cidW8

Canadian Figure Skaters Get Gold, Judge Banned Fri Feb 15, 2:30 PM ET

By Adrian Warner

SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) – Canada’s Jamie Sale and David Pelletier will be awarded a gold medal in the Olympics pairs figure skating after a French judge in Monday’s final was suspended for misconduct.

“The gold medal will be awarded to the Canadian pair,” International Olympic Committee (news – web sites) (IOC) president Jacques Rogge told a news conference on Friday.

Rogge, seeking to put an end to a furor that has dominated the first week of the Games, said the Russian pair who won on Monday would keep their gold medal.

International Skating Union (news – web sites) (ISU) president Ottavio Cinquanta said French judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne had been suspended from the Winter Olympics (news – web sites). Le Gougne voted for Russian duo Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze in the 5-4 split decision.

“We have suspended with immediate effect the judge of figure skating Mrs. Marie-Reine Le Gougne,” Cinquanta told the joint news conference.

“The council got enough evidence that this individual was responsible for misconduct. They (the skaters) were not judged equally.”

Cinquanta said le Gougne had “practically admitted” she had been put under pressure during a meeting at which the American referee Ron Pfenning had been present. Earlier this week, Cinquanta said Pfenning had handed him a letter containing “certain allegations”.

He added if a judge received pressure at any time the referee had to be informed.

“This did not happen in the case of Mrs. Le Gougne,” Cinquanta said.

He said a council meeting on Monday would decide how long the suspension would last.

Pelletier and Sale told Canadian television after the announcement that justice had been done.

“Everyone knows what we deserve and we know what we deserve and we are taking that home with us and that’s all that matters,” Sale said.

“This is not about us and the Russians, this is about the sport we love dearly and justice was done, and that is a good feeling,” said Pelletier.

“I hope it’s not going to stop the cleaning of (figure skating’s) house here,” he added.

Sale said: “We just want the truth to come out and I think for the future of our sport this had to be fixed.”

Monday’s decision sparked outrage in Canada and most neutral observers thought the title should have been awarded to the Canadian pair. The Canadian Olympic Association has appealed to the ISU to overturn the decision.

“This is truly a proud moment for all Canadians and a significant milestone in the sport of figure skating,” said Skate Canada president Marilyn Chidlow.