Less than a week ago, in writing about the future of the ISU, it was noted that some ISU members were considering taking action on questions relating to how Rule 121 and Communication 1197 came into being, and courses of action ISU members had open to them to challenge ISU management's interpretation of the congress' actions.
On 13 March 2003 the Japan Skating Federation (JSF), which is the governing body for both speedskating and figure skating in Japan announced that its federation Council had unanimously voted to file a protest with the ISU over Rule 121 and Communication 1197.
The JSF announcement includes the following items.
In taking this action, the JFS has courageously and unambiguously stood up for honesty, fair play and the rule of law in the governance of international figure skating.
In addition to coming out against the improper imposition of Rule 121 and Communication 1197, the JSF goes much farther, criticizing the ISU for not adequately addressing ethics, accountability and honesty in the aftermath of Salt Lake City, and stating that it considers the use of secrecy in the interim system contrary to the best interests of skating -- going so far as to call it "offensive to the fundamental principles of sports."
In regard to the potential testing of the proposed ISU system during the Grand Prix series next year, the federation states it will only use the proposed system if all the Grand Prix Organizing Members (Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, United States) agree to likewise and only if the decision is made in accordance with the rules. The JSF said it has yet to decide if it would support the proposed system as the sole system used during the Grand Prix or as a system used in parallel with the current system as a test.
In its statement, the JSF disavows any responsibility for the accuracy of the results from the recent NHK competition due to the element of secrecy included in the interim system. This remarkable statement indicates the JSF recognizes that the secret selection of random judges has compromised the accuracy and integrity of the results. So much so they will not take responsibility to guarantee the correctness of the results.
In its announcement, the JSF states that it is asking the ISU Council to rescind "the actions identified in the JSF letter as violating the ISU Constitution and Rules"; i.e., Rule 121 and Communication 1197.
The last point made by the JSF (which clearly did not translate well) indicates the JSF is committed to pursuing its protest and sucessfully resolving the issues it has raised.
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Copyright 2003 by George S. Rossano