U.S. figure skating dismisses report of judging conspiracy


U.S. Figure Skating denied reports on Saturday suggesting the United States and Russia are conspiring to help each other win gold medals at the Sochi Olympics.

A report from the French newspaper L’Equipe, quoting an anonymous Russian coach, said the two countries have ensured judges would award U.S. ice dancers Charlie Davis and Meryl White ice dance gold, while  Russia would win both pairs and the team event.

“Comments made in a “L’Equipe” story are categorically false,” the American governing body said in a statement on Saturday, via Reuters.

“There is no ‘help’ between countries. We have no further response to rumors, anonymous sources or conjecture.”

The allegation made the media rounds on Saturday. But it’s an odd one. Russia boasts strong skaters in all four disciplines, while Davis and White are among the ice dance favorites.

Such rumors don’t seem bother the U.S. pair.

“We haven’t heard anything about it,” she said. “We are confident that what we are putting out onto the ice speaks for itself.”

Watch NBC Sports’ Alpine skiing World Cup preview video

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NBC Sports will air coverage of 87 Alpine skiing races at 22 resorts across the globe this fall and winter, from October through March, in the final full season before the 2018 Olympics.

Highlights include fall and winter stops in the U.S. with races in Killington, Vt.; Beaver Creek, Colo.; Squaw Valley, Calif.; and the World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colo., in March.

Lindsey Vonn‘s highlighted World Cup stop will be downhill and super-G races in Lake Louise, Canada, the first weekend of December.

The world championships in February will be in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin will look to defend titles.


Skier goes airborne in World Cup opener (video)

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Canadian skier Phil Brown was fortunate to walk away from an airborne crash at the World Cup season opener in Soelden, Austria, on Sunday.

Brown failed to finish his first run, losing contact with the snow early on and falling hard onto his side.

He tweeted a video of the crash, with slow-motion replays, with a soundtrack of Irish singer Enya‘s “Only Time.”

The World Cup season continues with men’s and women’s slaloms in Levi, Finland, in three weeks.

MORE: Ted Ligety recovers to finish fifth in first race in 9 months