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Thread: Steve Milton column: "In praise of skating's whistle-blowers"

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    Steve Milton column: "In praise of skating's whistle-blowers"

    Steve Milton of Canada's Hamilton Spectator (and author of several skating books) wrote a Feb. 4th sports column titled "In praise of skating's whistle-blowers" that appears to be subscribers-only access at http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/

    Summary: The ISU Council's hearing in Geneva, Switzerland this past Tuesday (2/1/05) "will likely lead to the expulsion of former top [ISU and WSF] officials Sally Stapleford, Ron Pfenning, Britta Lindgren and Jon Jackson." All of them expect to be receiving their expulsion letters soon that will make them ineligible to judge or referee at future figure skating events. Their next step will be to "fight the decision at the ISU Appeals Committee. They expect to lose there too, and will likely then proceed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport."

    Milton concludes:
    This corner couldn't agree more: What is the ISU trying to hide? And why are people who have brought dishonour to the sport -- such as the judges suspended in the taped "footsies" incident of 1999, and the judge who told Canadian Jean Senft how he was going to vote before the 1998 Olympic ice dance final had been skated -- back in the judging fold?

    And why is it that those who are about to be barred just happen to be the ones who brought the dark plot of Salt Lake into the light? These people should have been made honorary Canadians for their brave actions in 2002. Instead, they're being made invisible, and the perpetrators will be back on the scene.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia
    Steve Milton of Canada's Hamilton Spectator (and author of several skating books) wrote a Feb. 4th sports column titled "In praise of skating's whistle-blowers" that appears to be subscribers-only access at http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/

    Summary: The ISU Council's hearing in Geneva, Switzerland this past Tuesday (2/1/05) "will likely lead to the expulsion of former top [ISU and WSF] officials Sally Stapleford, Ron Pfenning, Britta Lindgren and Jon Jackson." All of them expect to be receiving their expulsion letters soon that will make them ineligible to judge or referee at future figure skating events. Their next step will be to "fight the decision at the ISU Appeals Committee. They expect to lose there too, and will likely then proceed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport."

    Milton concludes:
    "Brave actions?" These people are as biased as those they are accusing. Whatever the political dynamics may be, they are no heroes in my book.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    They blew the whistle and were not answered to by the ISU in denying scandal at SLC and other venues of skating. If they were wrong, then the ISU should prove it before they expell them.

    Joe

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    Woman of the Waters
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    If anything, I would call the ISU biased for all of the problems they continue to ignore. It's actually quite funny how once some of these people become whistleblowers, they suffer the wrath of the ISU in the process. Maybe that could be inferred as being that the ISU has something to hide???

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    It still gets my goat when people praise Jean Senft. She's just as corrupt as those she exposed. If she had really cared about fairness in skating, she would have blown the whistle on those judges before the free dance-as she was supposed to. Instead, she waited until she deservedly got into trouble for national bias, and decided to bring others down with her. The Canadian media needs to stop treating her like a hero.

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    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antilles
    It still gets my goat when people praise Jean Senft. She's just as corrupt as those she exposed. If she had really cared about fairness in skating, she would have blown the whistle on those judges before the free dance-as she was supposed to. Instead, she waited until she deservedly got into trouble for national bias, and decided to bring others down with her. The Canadian media needs to stop treating her like a hero.

    In defense of Jean Senft - She could have said nothing at all and pretended like nothing happened. Probably she was thinking of how things may affect her coaching career should she speak up. As it turned out, Jean Senft did pay a price for speaking up, she was more or less "black listed" by the judges for a couple of years. So can't blame her for being cautious.

    Toller Cranston, was very outspoken about the crooked dealings of the judges and did not hold back on his views. He often stated " backroom deals were made and the outcome was known before the skater even stepped on the ice."

    It is a very difficult postion for skaters and coaches to be in at times when they see questionable behavior going on behind the scenes and it takes a lot of "guts" to bring such information to the public eye. They have to be positive about what they are talking about has taken place and risk their reputations and credibility with not only their fellow skaters and fans, but the judges as well.

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    What I think is that neither the skating establishment nor the skating fans want anything to change. Whenever someone, anyone (be it a skater, coach, judge or official) does so much as put someone else's integrity in question, everybody roll their eyes, call them cry-babies and get all cynical.

    I just finished reading a book written by a skating commentator here in Québec, and although he stresses that changes need to be brought to the world of skating, he goes on talking about Alexei Urmanov winning the 94 Olympics out of the blue without never having won Worlds. (He gives other such examples) What does that have to do with anything?
    I'll tell you what: skating has always been (and does not show signs of truly changing) about "paying your dues" for some years before you can get on a podium (especially in ice dance), and this, no matter how good (or bad, if you think of it) you are.

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    Gliding Along dlkksk8fan's Avatar
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    I just finished reading a book written by a skating commentator here in Québec
    What book is that? I would be interested in reading it.

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    Woman of the Waters
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    I just keep getting disgusted at the ISU and all that it stands for. Seriously when will people just say enough is enough and fix the corruption that's running rampant inside it?????

  10. #10
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    dlkksk8fan, I can tell you the title of the book, but I don't think it'll be of any use to you because it was published here in Québec (and maybe in France), in French.

    Anyway, it's

    "Les coulisses du patinage artistique" (Behind the Scenes of Figure Skating)
    by Alain Goldberg. He's a very popular skating commentator here, but he doesn't offer anything much new. It's more a short memoir than a real essay about figure skating.

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    Gliding Along dlkksk8fan's Avatar
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    I had a feeling it would be written in French, but thought I would ask anyway. Thanks for replying.

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