Saturday, March 19, 2011

IG's New Post on the Score-Fixing Scandal -- Chinese Judge Defends Changing 'Unfair' Score

Amanda Turner had a very good article posted with the recent updates on the Score-Fixing Scandal,
Shao Bin and Korean judge Nam Seung Ku comprised the Difficulty (D) panel during the floor exercise final at November's Asian Games in Guangzhou. ...Shao told newspaper "Sports Weekly" that he and Nam agreed the Execution score needed to be changed because Zhang was underscored. Zhang performed fifth in the lineup and scored 15.400 (6.4 D/9.000 E). Kim, who performed directly after Zhang, had a D score of 6.6. Reportedly, the Execution panel awarded Kim a 9.000 before it was altered to 8.8, producing a tie between the two gymnasts.

Shao said that both he and Kim agreed the change was necessary to produce the correct result.

"At first when (Kim's) score came out, Zhang's score was lower than Kim's, but actually Zhang's performance was way better than Kim's," Shao told the newspaper. "The placings were reversed — not only me, but the Korean judge thought so, too. We thought that it would not be good if this result were published unfairly. So we had the agreement that this score should be changed, otherwise it would have had a negative effect."

Shao said he did not change the score himself, but that after he and Kim agreed the score should be changed, they informed the secretary who changed the score in the computer. When pressed, Shao admitted that Difficulty judges modifying the Execution scores was not allowed, but cited earlier rules that he said allowed this action. He insisted the end result proved he acted justifiably.
According to Shao, he lowered Kim 's E score after Nam and he both agreed to do so. If that was the case, let's wait for Nam's testimony for the hearing.

Regarding his intent, here is what Shao said
"Certainly you would ask me, why did you do it while you were not allowed?" Shao said. "I surely would do it. As a judge, I should check if the gymnast's score reflects his performance, if not, I should express my attitude fairly. How could we leave the unreasonable scores there and do nothing? How could we get away with our responsibility? If I let the score go, it would mean I acquiesced to the unfair issue, and it would be a breach of duty."

Shao stated that his intent was not to ensure the Chinese gymnasts another gold medal at the Asian Games. In Guangzhou, China swept the gold medals at the women's competition and ended up winning or tying for every title except men's vault.

"Also, as a Chinese judge, how can I be callous when the issue affected a Chinese athlete?" Shao said. "I changed the score not for a gold medal, which does not mean too much as we've already got so many golds, and we can have many ones other than this, but I have to protect the gymnasts' performance and protect their interests. Do you know why every federation sends judges to the meet? It is because every judge represents not only the Asian Gymnastics Union but also the gymnasts. Preventing them from being robbed is also our duty."

Maybe what he said was how the politics actually are played in the judging department, but "officially" judge doesn't represent the country he/she come from or the gymnast from his/her own country.

Stoica declined to respond directly to Ye's questioning on the time delay and why he signed off on both the scores and final ranking. He instead shared his report on Asian Games judging submitted to the FIG Executive Committee. Apparently Stoica did act right away
In my position as President of the Superior Jury I immediately acted, together with Huang Liping by trying to revert to the original judge's scores, but unfortunately the scoring system used did not recorded the original scores, but only the final scores published on screens. Not having the trace of scores, we were obliged to accept the final published score, but even in this case – it is true without clear evidences, I consider such an attitude unacceptable for an FIG International brevetted judge."

The head judge's reasoning on not having changed the score back.
"According to the rules in gymnastics, the electronic score sent by judges represents the official score of judges, and in order to change or correct the scores, the scoring system must record also the initial score sent by them," Stoica said. "Without this trace, any change after the scores' publication looks like abusive behavior of the people who change it."

Here is a report from Korea Herald and the Korean Gymnastics Association official's perspective on the "incident" and comment on the allegation
Kim Dae-won, a senior official at the Korea Gymnastic Association who served as a judge in Guangzhou, recalled that Adrian Stoica, head of the men's technical committee at FIG, reprimanded Bin for the scoring change, and the event had to be stopped for several minutes.

"The Asian Games ended quietly anyway, but FIG had been quite upset over Bin's violation," Kim said. "I think the latest measure is an extension of that."

Kim said he found the FIG decision rather unusual.

"Most FIG judges are European and the Asian Games are run by the Asian Gymnastics Union," he said. "So the FIG didn't take much interest in the Asiads."

GymNiceTic reported this and once again called us to review the two floor routines. Were there really unfair judging as Shao claimed? Did Zhang really perform better than Kim, or was Kim's dismount triple twist underrotated? Here are the routines
Zhang Chenglong‘s FX (15.400/6.4)

Kim Soo Myun‘s FX (15.400/ 6.6)

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