The Russian Skating Federation president's wife judged the women's figure skating final

Feb 21, 2:19 PM

They're still talking about Russian Adelina Sotnikova's surprise women's figure skating victory over Korea's Queen Yuna Kim on Friday, a day after it happened. Because it's figure skating, and controversy is part of the sport. 

The judges were "clearly slanted towards Sotnikova, this is what they can do," a "high-ranking Olympic figure skating official" told USA Today's Christine Brennan

There's more. And this one's good, and unbelievable, and makes our heads hurt at the same time:

One of the Olympic judges ... was Alla Shekhovtseva, the wife of Valentin Piseev, the longtime president and general director of the Russian Skating Federation. Yes, a judge on the panel that determines whether or not a Russian was going to win a gold medal at a competition held in Russia is married to a man in charge of the Russian Skating Federation.

Only in figure skating. 

Wait. There's even more, from Brennan's column:

There's also a technical panel of three that makes all the crucial decisions about the difficulty levels of a skater's spins and whether jumps are under-rotated or downgraded, among other things, all of which lead to points a skater earns or doesn't. That panel was led by Alexander Lakernik, who also happens to be vice president of the Russian skating federation.

This is the definition of conflict of interest. Seriously, how does this happen? 

Here's Sotnikova's scoresheet: 

[Courtesy The Wire]

Alexander Abad-Santos writes:

If you look at Sotnikova's score sheet, there are a couple of judges who really liked her jumps and elements more than the others. Her first jump, a triple lutz-triple toe loop combination, actually got a -1 GOE from one judge — meaning that it was performed slightly below average. One judge gave it a zero, and a two more gave it a +1, meaning those judges saw the jump as pretty basic or maybe a tad above average.

But there was one outlier who gave Sotnikova a +3, meaning that it was up there with the best the jump or element could be done. In fact, according to that judge, almost all of Sotnikova's elements — her spins, her jumps, and footwork — were some of the best he or she has ever seen.

Figure skating judging is subjective and anonymous. Great work, figure skating. Just top-notch stuff. 

There are two more lines from Abad-Santos' piece that stand out, and that won't help quiet talk of a controversy:

Russians medaled at every figure skating event they entered. The only one they didn't medal in was in the men's figure skating event, which Evgeni Plushenko pulled out of at the last minute.