Rhythmic Gymnastics Judges Caught in Cheating Scandal


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Around Olympics time there are plenty of jokes about judges favoring certain countries, but a new scandal that is rocking the gymnastics world is no joke. A massive cheating scandal has hit the world of rhythmic gymnastics this week.

According to a New York Times report, the alleged cheating implicates as many as 60 "experts" from the world of rhythmic gymnastics. The suspected cheaters included people being tested for judging qualifications for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and those administering the tests. The allegations stem from "hundreds of pages" from an International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) investigation of the cheating obtained by the Times.

The cheating allegedly occurred in late 2012 in Europe. The cheating itself was a series of unskilled attempts to influence the results of tests. Specific examples given by the times include copied answers from a test in Bucharest, Romania; over 100 answers changed on tests in Moscow, Russia; and over 250 answers changed on tests in Alicante, Spain. Other evidence of cheating included mysterious "bonus points" and one test that had two different handwriting styles on it.

One "top Olympic official" has been expelled, according to the Times report, and six other officials have been suspended. The suspended officials will not be allowed to oversee gymnastic competitions in the future.

One of the suspended officials is Caroline Hunt, the rhythmic gymnastics program director for USA Gymnastics. The organization has said that they and Hunt plan to appeal the decision.

FIG is planning on a do-over for the tests. The new tests will be taken in Frankfurt and supervised by top officials.

(image courtesy cdephotos/Wikimedia Commons)

(via New York Times)