Canada

Fix was in at Olympic skating

A French skating judge and former official is making allegations of corruption in figure skating at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games held in Nagano, Japan.

The allegations are part of an investigative report by CBC Television's the Fifth Estate to be aired Wednesday night.

Gilles Vanderbroeck says he saw it first hand from top figure skating officials in his country. He says he was asked several times to honour deals made between federation heads regarding the placement of skaters.

"The president of my federation came to me several times and asked me could you put this skater at this place because I made an agreement with the president of his federation so his judge will do that for us."

Vanderbroeck isn't the first skating official to come forward. Canadian judge, Jean Senft, who was at the Nagano Games went underground and taped a conversation she had with a Ukrainian judge.

"The athletes are not competing on a fair playing field. This isn't sport. Somebody had to get proof," says Senft.

During that conversation Senft and the Ukrainian talked openly about where they were going to place skaters, long before the skaters had even stepped on the ice.

Senft thought the tape would blow the lid off the back room wheeling and dealing in the skating world. But until Vanderbroeck came forward to back up her claims of corruption in the sport the tape had little impact.

The Figure Skating Association in Manitoba has heard allegations of rigging before.

"I'm not surprised about that and I think figure skating has always been a suspect sport because of the nature of the way we do judging" says Ted Jones.

Jones says the only people hurt by rigging are the skaters.

"Even our national champions go out there and when they knew this was going on, they still go out there and they try to put that behind them and try not let it effect them."

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