Transcript: Greta on Skategate

This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, February 14, 2002. Click here to order last night's entire transcript.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: The scandal on ice heats up in Salt Lake City.  Late today, the International Skating Union announced it won't move up a hearing on the judging of the Olympic pairs skating event.  An alleged fix gave the Russians skaters the gold, even though they made a mistake.  The Canadian skaters who took home the silver skated cleanly.

Joining me in the studio is Robert Becker from Fox Sports Radio.

Rob, any possibility there'll be two gold medals?

ROBERT BECKER, FOX SPORTS RADIO:  Sure, I think there is definitely a possibility.  The slightest precedent we have for that -- there was once a typographical error made by a judge that caused someone who should have gotten a gold, a Canadian synchronized swimmer a few years ago -- she should have gotten a gold and the mistake put her in silver.  When they revealed there'd been a typo, they gave her a gold, along with the original gold medal winner.

That's not exactly the same as here, but it gives you an opening to say, "Hey, there was something wrong with the French judge in this event," and they should both be given golds on the basis that if you take the French judge's vote out, because she's the one who's accused of being tarnished, you've got a 4-4 tie, ergo, two golds.

VAN SUSTEREN:  You know -- you know, Rob, this is serious.  I mean, you've got -- all these skaters -- the four skaters poured their heart and soul in this, trained for years around the clock.  But this is a horrible scandal.  Do you think it's possible that the French judge really could have had -- you know, the fix was in?

BECKER:  Sure.  I mean, this sort of thing is more common in ice dancing over the years.  There's one incident at Nagano, in which a Ukrainian judge was caught on tape before the event, reciting the order of finish which actually happened.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Why do we let these people be judges?  You know...

BECKER:  Well, why, indeed?

VAN SUSTEREN:  Why not off with their heads?  I mean...

BECKER:  Well, that very judge is going to be judging on Friday night.  I mean...

VAN SUSTEREN:  How -- that's impossible!

BECKER:  It's ridiculous.  You and I, as lawyers, know there's an obvious conflict of interest here.  What they allow...

VAN SUSTEREN:  Conflict of interest?  It's called cheating!.

BECKER:  Right.  Well, they allow...

VAN SUSTEREN:  I mean, it's not even this nice little word of "conflict of interest."  It's flat-out scandal, it's cheating, it's crooked!

BECKER:  Right.  In this particular instance, we have cheating, if the accusation is correct.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Which we don't know.

BECKER:  We don't know that yet.  But we have is an ongoing system whereby the countries that have athletes in the competition also have judges.  It should be a flat-out rule that if you got an athlete in the competition, your country can't have a judge.

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right, what kind of hearing are they going to have?  We have these court hearings.  Everyone in the country has seen the O.J. Simpson trial.

BECKER:  This is...

VAN SUSTEREN:  This is not going to be an O.J. Simpson trial.

BECKER:  No, this is...

VAN SUSTEREN:  What kind of hearing are they going to have?

BECKER:  This is just in front of the -- it's not even necessarily a heard.  It's more of an investigation in from of the International Skating Union.  And then we're going to hear something on Monday, which is kind of late.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Which is not even the Olympics.  It's the skating union that's having the hearing.

BECKER:  Right, but that's -- that's correct because the IOC, the Olympic committee, says that the skating union should decide this.  They want them to decide it quickly so it doesn't embarrass the Olympics.  But they agree...

VAN SUSTEREN:  Embarrass it?  They've already got the embarrassment!  Of course, the Olympic committee's got their own little set of embarrassments in recent history.

BECKER:  Sure.  That's true.  But not really one quite this bad.  I mean, this -- this is about as bad as it gets.  It goes to the essence of the sport to think that judges even consider doing the best for their country, let alone actually making a deal.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Is it fair to say that in judging skating that there are technical issues and there's also subjective judgments, so that if someone who has a very complicated program can make a mistake and could beat out someone who does a perfect, less-complicated program?

BECKER:  Oh -- oh, sure.  It's possible.  But here, there's really no one who's saying that the Canadians had a much easier program, and it's clear-cut that they made no mistakes, and the French -- I'm sorry -- and the Russians made four.  And if you look at that, there's no way of justifying the three votes of three judges, including the French judge, who gave them equal grades.

VAN SUSTEREN:  And of course, we'll find out Monday what happens.  We got to go.  Rob Becker, thank you very much for joining us.

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