Following Canadian Women to
Salt Lake City


February 15, 2002
Canadian Press

Gold for Sale and Pelletier

SALT LAKE CITY - Canadian figure skaters Jamie Salé and David Pelletier are gold medalists after all.

"I am actually speechless," Salé told CBC TV. "I can't express how I feel right now."
The International Olympic Committee and International Skating Union announced on Friday they had reached a deal to award a second set of gold medals to the Canadians.

"Our skating speaks for itself," Salé said. "Everyone knows what we deserve."

The announcement ended what was a long week for the skaters, who quickly became media darlings after Monday night's pairs competition.

"It's been a crazy last few days," said Pelletier.

He regretted the fact that the circus around their situation took attention away from other Canadian athletes.

Ottavio Cinquanta

At a joint news conference with the head of the International Olympic Committee, ISU president Ottavio Cinquanta said a meeting was held late Thursday to discuss the controversy surrounding the results of the competition.

He said Marie-Reine le Gougne, the French judge at the centre of the controversy, had been suspended.

Her results were thrown out, creating a tie between the Canadians and the Russian pair Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze.

The Russians will keep their gold medals. A ceremony to present Salé and Pelletier their gold medals will be held on Feb. 21, the last day of skating for the Games.

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge announced the Canadians will be awarded gold medals.

Jacques Rogge

Cinquanta said he had personally spoken with le Gougne. "The council got enough evidence that this individual was responsible for misconduct," he said. "They were not judged equally."

He wouldn't say exactly what she had done, or what evidence had come to light.

Just two days ago Cinquanta told reporters he was in no hurry to resolve the controversy.

But Rogge wanted to clear the air of a controversy that had been casting a pall over the entire Games.

Salé and Pelletier said they had no interest in seeing the Russian pair have their gold medals taken away.

"This was not something against (the Russians)," Pelletier said. "This was against the system.

"I hope the inquiry goes on from here."

reprinted with permission

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