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People Top 5
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- May 13, 2002
- Vol. 57
- No. 18
Out in the Cold Since the Olympic Skating Scandal, Judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne Lands a Lengthy Suspension
The distressing news Le Gougne had just learned was that at the end of a two-day disciplinary hearing—convened by the International Skating Union to determine whether she had bowed to pressure at the 2002 Winter Olympics when she awarded higher marks to the Russian figure-skating pair than to Canadians Jamie Sale and David Pelletier—her fellow skating officials had given her a harsh "3." As in a three-year suspension from any ISU event. (The same sanctions were slapped on French skating federation president Didier Gailhaguet, the official Le Gougne claimed in February had pushed her to vote for the Russians. She later recanted.) "They want war? I will give them war—I will tell all I know about the ISU," Le Gougne proclaimed to PEOPLE. "It's all mafia."
Before leaving Lausanne with her 29-year-old boyfriend, who would identify himself only as "Axel," Le Gougne vowed to appeal the ban. Whether she succeeds would appear to be a moot point to Sale and Pelletier, who announced they were turning pro. Said the Canadian pair, who clearly know how to negotiate thin ice: "We skate, they judge."
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