USA TODAY Sports Christine Brennan wraps up the skating events from the Sochi games with a look back at the Women's program and the US best skating performance of the Olympics. Gannett
Th e IOC was quick Friday morning to play down any hint of a figure skating judging scandal after Adelina Sotnikova of Russia was the surprising winner of the gold medal, upsetting reigning Olympic gold medalist Yuna Kim of South Korea and Italy's Carolina Kostner.
"I think you're getting a little ahead of yourself," said IOC spokesman Mark Adams. "I think first off we have to see if there's an official complaint, because the people concerned I'd assume would make a complaint and it would go to the federation. I'm not aware there's been such a complaint and if there was they'd got through the federation. I don't think it's even happened yet. If it does that will be the first step to go through if there isn't a credible complaint we wouldn't take it any further."
After Thursday night's event, some skating insiders questioned Sotnikova's marks and the makeup of the judging panel.
The nine judges for the short and long programs are chosen by draw from a pool of 13, with eight of the judges only working one event or the other. Judges from the United States, South Korea, Great Britain and Sweden were not chosen to work the women's long program after being on the women's short program panel the night before.
Two of their replacements were Ukrainian Yuri Balkov, who was kicked out of judging for a year after being tape-recorded by a Canadian judge trying to fix the Nagano ice dancing competition, and Alla Shekhovtseva, a Russian judge who is married to Russian federation general director Valentin Pissev. The two other new long program judges were from Estonia and France, which was the country that conspired with Russia to try to fix the pairs and ice dancing competition at the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.
But Adams was having none of that.
"I think we need a little of a reality check here," he said. "I don't know much about skating I saw some of it last night and her performance was agreed by many to be absolutely fantastic. I'm not an expert. The IOC has a pretty sophisticated judging system with safeguards in place and each of the judges has a video review where they can review each of the jumps so there's a number of things in place. At this stage, I think we're discussing purely hypothetical things and my personal point of view would be to congratulate a fantastic performance.
"I think it's the federation which chooses the makeup of the panel and it's clear there's no hiding who's on the panel. I don't think as yet, the first step would be for someone to make some kind of complaint which hasn't happened as far as I know."