Russian figure skaters Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze were the best at the Olympics in Salt Lake City, French judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne said in an interview with the Swiss newspaper Le Temps published Saturday. "I thought so during the competitions and have not changed my mind since," she said. "The public and the press saw Sikharulidze's mistake when he presented double Axel, but the free skating program lasts 4.5 minutes," she said. In Le Gougne's opinion, "the Russians were better, excelling the rivals in the complexity of elements and the style of performance." "Their program was very rich, and the speed of their movements was really high." Marie-Reine Le Gougne characterized the Lausanne session of the International Skating Union (ISU) Council as a farce and a masquerade. According to her, the ISU summoned for the hearing only those witnesses supporting the Canadian side, paid for their trip and stay in Lausanne. When Le Gougne asked the ISU about an opportunity to invite the judges who had voted for the Russian pair, she was told to pay for their arrival herself. According to Le Gougne, the session of the ISU Council in Lausanne was held for the sake of appearances.
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