US and Russia Accused of Conspiring to Fix Olympics Figure Skating

L'Equipe, a French sports magazine, published a story this weekend quoting an anonymous Russian coach who claims the Olympics are fixed and America and Russia bargained for the figure skating medals ahead of time.

The coach said that in exchange for supporting Russia in the new team skating category, the Russian judges would support Charlie White and Meryl Davis, the American ice dancing team, in their category.

White and Davis have traded titles with their Canadian rivals and reigning Olympic champions, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, for more than five years. On Saturday, Davis and White edged Virtue and Moir out by three points after Moir made a mistake on a pirouette move called a twizzle.

The US Figure Skating Association has denied the rumors as "categorically false," but it's not the first time the sport has been accused of score-fixing.

During the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Canadians Jamie Salé and David Pelletier performed the best routine of the competition. But when the tally came in, Russians Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze posted the top score.

Outrage grew — Scott Hamilton infamously declared them the winners before the scores were posted and commentator Sandra Bezic said on-air it made her embarrassed for her sport. An inquiry eventually found that the French judge acted improperly by giving the gold to the Russian team so that the Russian judges would favor the French ice dancing team later that week. When the news came out, Salé and Pelletier were awarded duplicate gold medals.

[image via AP]