Protest Letter To ISU From Japan Skating Federation

The Japan Skating Federation filed the following "Letter of Protest" to the ISU on March 13, 2003:

Tokyo, Japan. The Council of the Japan Skating Federation met today and voted [unanimously] to lodge a protest letter with the Council of the International Skating Union on various matters of critical importance to the JSF and to its members. The letter included a protest regarding the improper presentation in the ISU 2002 Constitution and General Regulations of Rule 121, paragraph 3. The letter included evidence consisting of official ISU documents demonstrating that the matter was considered by the Congress and approved as a “project,” not as a Rule. The letter also points out that delegation to the ISU Council of the authority to adopt Rules (as paragraph 3.p. of Rule 121 purports to do) would be a violation of the ISU Constitution.

The letter also included a protest that ISU Communication No. 1197 dated December 27, 2002, both (a) specifies procedures in violation of the Special Regulations for Figure Skating, Ice Dancing, and Synchronized Skating, and (b) purports to be a repeal or amendment of those Rules by the Council without action by the Congress and without authority under the ISU Constitution. The experience in Salt Lake City should have prompted the ISU to take action to minimize (or even prevent) the chances that judging impropriety would ever again occur. Instead, the secrecy procedures set forth in ISU Communication No. 1197 merely minimize (or even prevent) the chances that such impropriety would ever again become public. That is offensive to the fundamental principles of sports and a violation of the ISU Constitution and Rules.

Finally, the JSF confirmed that it will submit an application under Rules 367 and 551 for use of the “project” system at the NHK Trophy, but will do so only if all other Organizing Members of Grand Prix events do likewise and only if all of the applications for such use are approved in accordance with those Rules. The JSF has not yet decided whether an application thus submitted by it under those Rules would be for sole use of the “project” system or in parallel with the system specified in the existing Rules. The JSF has specifically informed the ISU Council that the JSF accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of results for the NHK Trophy conducted this past year under secrecy procedures subsequently described in ISU Communication No. 1197.

The JSF is a unified member of the ISU representing both the speed skating and figure skating components in Japan. The JSF believes that it has an obligation to take all prudent actions to preserve the rights and authority of the JSF under the ISU Constitution and Rules. The JSF is hopeful that submission of its letter of protest will be followed by prompt and decisive vote of the ISU Council withdrawing and rescinding the actions identified in the JSF letter as violating the ISU Constitution and Rules. The JSF intends to remain seized of this matter.

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