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2019 News Nuggets 

4 Jan. - The ISU Council has provisionally allotted the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final 2019 to the Federazione Italiana Sport del Ghiaccio (FISG). The Event is to be held on December 5-8, 2019 in the Palavela arena in Torino (ITA).

19 Jan. - Yesterday, John Coughlin, two-time U.S. Figure Skating pairs champion (2011, 2012) committed suicide.  Coughlin was under investigation by Safesport since March 2018 and suspended from involvement in  Figure Skating on17 Dec. 2018, rumored to be due to an accusation of a sexual violation with an underage female skater.

This will be the second time the Grand Prix Final has been held at the Palavela arena, site of the figure skating competition for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.

24 Jan. - U.S. Figure Skating announced the selection of Orleans Arena in Las Vegas as the host for 2019 Skate America, Oct. 18-20, 2019. The international event will be the first of six stops on the International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series for 2019/20.

5 Feb. - U.S. Figure Skating announced the selection of the Ladies and Men's World Junior Team members.

Ting Cui
Hanna Harrell

Alternate 1 – Starr Andrews
Alternate 2 – Gabriella Izzo
Alternate 3 – Audrey Shin

Tomoki Hiwatashi
Alex Krasnozhon
Camden Pulkinen

Alternate 1 – Ryan Dunk
Alternate 2 – Andrew Torgashev
Alternate 3 – Dinh Tran

6 Feb. - Past U.S. Figure Skating president Franklin Nelson (6/2/1933 - 2/6/2019), died yesterday after along illness.

Nelson started his skating career in his home town of Tulsa, OK and continued it at the Skating Club of Boston, during college at Harvard.

He was President of U.S. Figure Skating from 1989-1992 and was the last president to also be a National Champion - Junior Dance 1955 with Sidney Foster. They were bronze medalists in senior in 1956 and went on to compete in the World Championships in 1956, where they placed seventh.

HHe served on the board of directors of U.S. Figure Skating for 10 years, Midewest Vice president 1980-1983, Dance Committee Chair 1975-1078, the first Chair of the USFS Sports Medicine Committee, and an original and long time member of the ISU Sports Medicine Committee, as well as an Honorary Member of USFS Board of Directors.

He was an ISU World Judge, judging International and World competitions, the Olympics Games in Sarajevo in 1984, team leader for the World Championships in 1973 and 1974, and team leader for the Olympics Games at Innsbruck 1976.

Nelson joined the U.S. Navy in 1956, studied at medical school and became a surgeon. He received his M.D. and A.B. from Harvard University.

He served on active duty for two intervals in the Navy, reaching the rank of Captain.  While president of U.S. Figure skating he served on active duty during the first Gulf War.

28 Mar. -  U.S. Figure Skating announces the athletes chosen to represent the United States at ISU World Team Trophy 2019. The event is set for April 11-14 in Fukuoka, Japan.

The event features the six best figure skating teams of the 2018-19 season, which includes Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.

Mariah Bell
Bradie Tennell
Alternate: Starr Andrews

Nathan Chen
Vincent Zhou
Alternate: Jason Brown

Ashley Cain/Timothy LeDuc
Alternate: Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier

Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue
Alternate: Madison Chock/Evan Bates

22 Oct. 2019 - Vincent Zhou, the bronze medal at the 2019 World Figure Skating, has withdrawn from both his Grand Prix assignments, Cup of China and Rostelecom Cup.

“It’s really difficult to balance classes and training at the same time,” said Zhou, who is in the middle of his freshman year at Brown University. “I want to perform at the highest level on the ice and in the classroom, and I have not been able to dedicate the necessary time to my skating with my rigorous class schedule. Unfortunately, the timing of my midterms has fallen right in the middle of an important training period for me this fall. This was a tough decision because I love to perform in front of the fans, but this is the best decision for me right now.”

9 Dec. 2019 - The World Anti-Doping Agency’s Executive Committee have unanimously endorsed the recommendation of the independent Compliance Review Committee that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency be declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code for a period of four years.

The 12-member committee supported the recommendation, which includes a series of strong consequences and conditions for reinstatement.

In remarks when the announcement was made, WADA President Sir Craig Reedie said: “For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport. The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of RUSADA’s reinstatement conditions, approved by the ExCo in September 2018, demanded a robust response. That is exactly what has been delivered today.

Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and re-join the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial."

As a result, the WADA ExCo has responded in the strongest possible terms, while protecting the rights of Russian athletes that can prove that they were not involved and did not benefit from these fraudulent acts."

This ban covers both the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.  Despite another doping ban, some Russian athletes will still be able to compete at these Games.

The sanctions handed down, however, mean there won't be a Russian flag or national anthem at the Olympics. But it is expected athletes who can be proven to be clean can compete under the Olympic banner.

Similar restrictions were imposed for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, where there was no “Russia” but there were 168 “Olympic Athletes from Russia," two of whom later failed doping tests.

Russia rejects the WADA ruling, and is expected to challenge it before the international Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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