|By Meredith and Bernard.April 15th 2002 - Page 18.
"The unacceptable behaviour of certain members of the Judges College not only sheds a serious prejudicial light on the gymnasts image, but on the Federation as a whole."
Interesting sentence from the F.I.G. president in early 2002 about the Rsg scandals.
Is it the beginning of the rhythmics spring cleaning?
After the years of the disgrace for the rhythmic gymnastics, we are now waiting for better years, years of grace and beautiful gymnastics... and less backgrounds scandals and underhand practices.
2000 European Championships of Saragosse (Spain), some judges and gymnasts coaches (and/or gymnasts family members) are playing their usual background practices in the goal to influence the results of their respective protégée! The scandal is incredible : piles of perfect notes, piles of high notes, all the judges seem to have lost the sense of reality. A mediatic victim is Elena Vitrichenko, the fine Ukrainian competitor. The central victim : the rhythmic gymnastics! The sport has lost its credibility... some months later, several tv channels chose to not broadcast the Rsg Olympics competitions or only some highlights.
2001 Brisbane Goodwill Games in Australia: Alina Kabaeva and Irina Tschachina easily won the events. Some months later is coming a new scandal: both Russian gymnasts have been controlled positive in using forbidden products! This time... only one victim : the rhythmic gymnastics... :-(
2001 Madrid World Championships: new successes for Alina Kabaeva and Irina Tschachina. Some months later... new surprise... Irina is again controlled positive! Poor rhythmic gymnastics...
Full disgrace and shame on the Russian rhythmic gymnastics!
The underhand practices are usual in all artistic sports (see the figure skating scandals at the Winter Games of Salt lake City to have an idea of what the underhand practices are!). How many strange notations in the rhythmics competitions? Too much! Obviously we notice the names of two countries each time a new scandal burst out. Ukrainia, Russia! Russia, Ukrainia! One time victim, one time favoured... always with hard words from the coaches and the gymnasts closely related people. A kind of private rivalry between Kiev and Moscow!?
Every gym amateur can notice the facts, read the results of the major events since 1994, read the reports of the European or World Championships, analyse the notation trend before the Olympics...
We are all still wondering how Ekaterina Serebrianskaia have won her Atlanta 1996 Gold medal? The victim of the '96 Olympic Games is Yanina Batyrchina from Russia!
Russian and Ukrainian coaches and federation managers, the real rhythmics universe is telling you these words: stop playing with our sport! You are the rhythmic gymnastics gravediggers! Shame on you!
We enjoy watching the Russian and the Ukrainian rhythmics styles, so different, and creative too.
But we can not admit the unsportsmanlike practices. If you want victories, you must deserve them.
We are both thinking these fiddles are used by some people to keep their priviledges from their respective federations and to be sure to get the financial support who is giving them grand priviledges. Then such people are ready to intrigue, to scheme behind the scenes in gymnastics. They are ready to undermine their gymnasts health... giving them strange products like diuretics and using weight chemichal control methods. The victims are the gymnasts! Poor Olga Belova... We are sure the Belova natural health is not her today quite anorexic silhouette... and the doctors are not the only responsibles... the coaches bring matters to a head!
Scandals, Judges suspended, suspicion on several coaches, the rhythmics trend decisions padlocked by two federations and also less medias attention to the rhythmic gymnastics sports... that's the today assessment.
The F.I.G. tries to clean up the Rsg. We must hope its success. The day we have a Bulgarian, Spanish or Greek gymnast awarded with an European or a World Champion title is the day of the rhythmics release.
We both enjoy the Ukrainian and Russian Rsg styles, we hope to see new artists from both countries, we just refuse to see our sport padlocked by their private rivalries.