COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo - International Skating Union president Ottavio Cinquanta dismissed the notion his organization has been monopolistic in how it runs figure skating.
In responding to a lawsuit filed the previous by the fledgling World Skating Federation, Cinquanta said Saturday he has never heard such a charge before.
"For 70 years, the ISU has conducted world championships in figure skating," he said. "We were founded 112 years ago, and never have we been accused of a monopoly by anyone worldwide. No national Olympic committees, no federations, nobody.
"I would like to point out we do one event a year here, but this season, two," he added of Skate America in October and the Grand Prix finals that ended Saturday. "We do so always with the cooperation of the USFSA. We don't understand how an international federation can do a monopoly doing one event a year."
In its lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in New York, the WSF cites the ISU and Cinquanta with improperly maintaining "a monopoly over the sport of international figure skating."
Cinquanta responded by noting there are many made-for-television skating events in the United States that have no ISU involvement.
The WSF also complained about blacklisting or banishing of anyone in the sport who assists or supports the new organization, which is challenging the ISU's role as the international governing body for figure skating.
"All federations, in particular the ISU, have rules voted by the congress," Cinquanta said. "Certain conditions apply regarding the ISU and people that act in the area of the ISU. When someone ... is going against the interest and behavior considered proper for a sport today, then there is a possibility of a decision [of disciplinary action] in line with and permitted by our constitution.
"We are more than confident that in the facts we prove we are coordinating our mission and out activity competently."
Cinquanta also expressed confidence the new points judging system used for the Grand Prix series this year will be adopted for all ISU events at next June's congress. For now, the traditional 6.0 format is used for national and regional events and for the world championships.
But if two-thirds of the congress approves the new system, it will be implemented at all international events run by the ISU in the 2004-05 season. And it would be in place for the 2006 Olympics.
"We are more than satisfied ... beyond the most optimistic expectations," he said of the system designed in the wake of the Salt Lake City Olympics judging scandal. "The results are consistent and in the areas of coaches and judges and skaters, there is remarkable support."
The points system, Cinquanta added, will prevent "repetition of the certain negative situation we had in the Salt Lake City Olympic Games.
"We promised to do something," he said, "and it has been done. We have done more than something, we worked out a new system, created it, developed it and tested it many times. When it was ready, we say, 'OK, we will use the system in competition.' And it works properly.
"We will get this on the agenda. In June, the congress will be asked if the ISU should go on with the new system. I can't predict the vote, but of course we're very confident."