Imagine if the Milli Vanilli scandal hit a week before Kristi Yamaguchi was set to skate to "Blame It On the Rain" at the 1992 Winter Olympics and you'll start to grasp the major Japanese scandal that's threatening to overshadow the performance of the nation's top male figure skating hopeful.
Through no fault of his own, 2010 bronze medalist Daisuke Takahashi has been drawn into an ongoing saga in which Japan's "modern day Beethoven," a deaf composer named Mamoru Samuragochi, was recently revealed to have staged an elaborate, 20-year hoax.
As The New York Times described on Thursday, Samuragochi confessed that he'd hired a ghostwriter to compose most of his major works. Then, the story took a major turn when that ghostwriter came forward to claim Samuragochi has been faking his hearing impairment in order to draw comparisons to Beethoven.
How does this involve Takahashi, a skater expected to contend for a medal in Sochi? He'll skate to a Samuragochi piece, Sonatina for Violin, in next Thursday's men's short program. That fact is what the ghostwriter said compelled him to come clean.
Takashi Niigaki, who has written Samuragochi's pieces since the early-1990s, spoke about it at a news conference this week, according to the Times.
"[Samuragochi] told me that if I didn't write songs for him, he'd commit suicide. But I could not bear the thought of skater Takahashi being seen by the world as a co-conspirator in our crime.
Takahashi will still use the music for his program, as it's far too late to change his routine with the short program set for next week. In the clip below, he skates to the same song.