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ISU Quickly Dismissed Kostner's Scoring Protest

The International Skating Union (ISU) immediately dealt with protest over the scoring of Carolina Kostner’s long program at the 2009 European Championships, according to an ISU official.

"As per Rule 123 of the ISU General Regulations 2008, no protest is allowed for field of play decisions. Therefore the result as published is final," ISU Media Coordinator Devra Pitt Getaz told International Figure Skating.

A miscommunication appears to have occurred regarding the protest. According to the Mancini Group, which represents Kostner, a "complaint submitted by the Italian Skating Federation (FISG) to the ISU” concerning Kostner’s marks by the technical panel for the long program at the European Championships was “accepted" and would "be discussed by the ISU commission.”

Pitt Getaz shot down that statement. "At no time did the ISU 'accept' any such protest and at no time did a 'commission' have a hearing about this. ... There was a protest filed by the Italian member (FISG) on Saturday, January 24, which was immediately dismissed in writing by the referee in accordance with Rule 123," she said.

The notice from the management group was posted on Kostner's official website after the competition but no longer appears on the site. Instead the home page notes Kostner is the 2009 European silver medalist.

The post regarding the issue noted: “a spin in Carolina’s long program was not counted — not because she made a mistake but because of a debatable interpretation of the rules, therefore the 'sit spin' was called a 'combination spin.'"

Kostner went into the 2009 European Championships in Helsinki as the two-time and defending champion. She was dethroned by Finland’s Laura Lepistö.

Lepistö won the competition with an overall competition mark of 167.32 points to Kostner's 165.42.

ISU Rule 123, section 4 (Protest Restrictions) states:

"No protests against evaluations by Referees, Judges and the Technical Panel (Technical Controller, Technical Specialists, Data Operator, Replay Operator) of Skaters’ performances are allowed;

"Protests against results are permitted only in the case of incorrect mathematical calculation. A wrong identification of an element or of a level of difficulty, although it results in a lower or higher score, is a human error and not an incorrect mathematical calculation;

"However, if the Referee learns: prior to the beginning of the award ceremony or prior to the official announcement of results if there is no award ceremony, that a human error relating to a wrong data input by the Data Operator occurred, the Referee may correct the error provided that the Technical Controller, both Technical Specialists and the Data Operator all agree that there was an error. ..."

The rule indicates that protests regarding “incorrect mathematical calculation” may be filed within 24 hours after the completion of the competition concerned.

Finland’s figure skating federation and Lespito had no comment on the situation.

Emails to Kostner’s management group (seeking comment from Kostner and her manager), and the Italian federation were not answered.