FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WORLD SKATING FEDERATION FILES ANTITRUST LAWSUIT
AGAINST THE INTERNATIONAL SKATING UNION
AND ITS PRESIDENT
Figure Skating Abuses to Be Made Public
(Hyannis Port, Massachusetts December 12--) The World Skating Federation (WSF) announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against the International Skating Union (ISU) and its President, Ottavio Cinquanta, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In its complaint, the WSF alleges that the ISU and Cinquanta engaged in anticompetitive conduct designed to improperly maintain a monopoly over the sport of international figure skating and related markets by threatening to "black-list" or banish any person from the sport of international figure skating who provides support or assistance to the WSF.
The WSF is a not-for-profit athlete-focused international sports organization. Its mission is to oversee and administer the sport of international figure skating in order to promote fair, accountable and transparent governance of competitions free of misconduct. The WSF is being represented by leading class-action attorney, Melvyn I. Weiss, and his law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, LLP. Mr. Weiss said:
"Accusations of collusion and corruption in the judging of international figure skating competitions have plagued the world of figure skating for years, including the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. We allege that the ISU does not fully investigate corruption and retaliates against those who speak out against such corruption. This lawsuit seeks to restore merits-based competition and to ensure that the integrity of the sport of international figure skating is maintained at the highest level."
Ronald Pfenning, WSF Acting President and ISU Championship and Olympic Official, said,
"The World Skating Federation welcomes the opportunity to provide the skating community with an alternative organization where integrity is honored, talent and achievement rewarded, and different opinions freely expressed. The WSF is an organization that values the Olympic spirit and can garner the respect of athletes, coaches, federations, and the public. In this lawsuit, we allege that Ottavio Cinquanta, fearing a new democratic organization and fighting to protect his autocratic control of the sport and its lucrative television contracts, responded by threatening to 'blacklist' or banish anyone connected with the WSF. By filing this lawsuit, we seek to subject the ISU's anticompetitive conduct to judicial review. I am confident that justice will be done, and that those who subscribe to the WSF's principles will be allowed to freely express their views in the near future."
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP is a 190-lawyer firm with headquarters in New York City. The firm that Melvyn I. Weiss and Lawrence Milberg founded in 1965 has grown to become the nation's largest law firm whose practice is focused on class action litigation. Other practice areas include antitrust, consumer, insurance, healthcare, corporate, human rights and employment discrimination. For over 35 years, Milberg Weiss has successfully prosecuted thousands of class action lawsuits and has taken a lead role in numerous complex litigations on behalf of defrauded investors, consumers and companies, as well as victims of World War II human rights violations. Milberg Weiss has been responsible for more than $30 billion in recoveries. For more information, please visit www.milberg.com.
A copy of the Complaint can be found on the World Skating Federation's web site at www.worldskating.org.
Complain (.pdf format)