Indeed.In seeking the summit, Natalya walked over corpses just as did many of her great predecessors. They were just more tactfull. Possibly, they were also smarter. They also tried to follow an unspoken rules - athletes should never guess of the behind-the-scenes machinations.
You can always explain away any loss. There is, though, no chance to convince a skater to sacrifice anything for the result if they know that the outcome has already been paid for.
I can see where a hard-working skater would not be pleased if his coach reported to him, "well, I just got off phone with Piseev and here's the deal I got for you: You get buried in 8th place off the podium and in exchange our top pairs team wins the gold medal. How does that sound?"
You do have to give the Russian Federation points for honesty, though. They come right out and say that there are only two kinds of people in figure skating, cheaters and fools.
Other federations at least make an effort, howerver cynical, to give lip service to the concept of a fair contest and are embarrassed, not proud, when they get caught cheating.