The late Sydney J. Harris, an esteemed syndicated columnist, would frequently write stories under the rubric, “Things I Learned On My Way To Looking Up Other Things.”
I’m borrowing Mr. Harris’ catchphrase for this column, which grew out of things I was reminded of while reporting a story about the ethical questions surrounding Skate Canada’s welcome gift to skaters, judges and officials at the Canadian leg of the figure skating Grand Prix series last month in Regina, Saskatchewan.
What I learned is no secret, but it raises more ethical questions about the governance and judging of figure skating.
This case involves the indefensible decision to allow presidents of national figure skating federations to be international judges, in apparent contradiction of the conflict-of-interest language in the International Skating Union’s code of ethics.
The president of U.S. Figure Skating, Samuel Auxier, and of Skate Canada, Leanna Caron, each is an active international judge. It makes them unique among current leaders of the national federations that consistently have medal-contending athletes.
That is akin to having the general manager of a football or baseball team act as a game official.Read More