Chinese ice skating judge banned for ‘obvious’ pro-China bias at last Winter Olympics helps judge at Beijing 2022

  • Chinese ice skating judge Huang Feng was suspended a year after Pyeongchang 2018.
  • He was found guilty of “obvious and systematic prejudice” towards Chinese skaters.

A Chinese ice skating judge who was previously banned for unfairly favoring athletes from his own country is currently serving on a technical panel in Beijing Winter Olympics.

Huang Feng was one of two Chinese judges suspended by the International Skating Union (ISU) after being found guilty of bias during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

While his compatriot Chen Weiguang was handed a two-year ban and was banned from judging at Beijing 2022Huang only received a one-year suspension and was allowed to return for the 2022 games.

At the Beijing Games, Huang works as a technical controller, an official who oversees technical specialists who decide how difficult skating moves are and how they should be scored.

Although it does not directly provide the grades, it can offer corrections regarding the level of difficulty identified for a given element.

So far in Beijing, he has acted as technical controller for the men’s individual skating event and for part of the team event.

China did not compete in the men’s individual skating event, which was won by American Nathan Chen, while they finished fifth in the team event, won by the Russian Olympic Committee.

Sui Wenjing and Han Cong were given preferential tagging by Huang at Pyeongchang 2018.Getty/AFP

In Pyeongchang, Huang was found to have exhibited “obvious and systematic bias” during the pair figure skating event.

In this event, the Chinese duo Sui Wenjing and Han Cong won the silver medal, with Feng playing a major role in their success, giving them excessively high scores while lowering the scores of their competitors.

A survey by the ISU showed that Huang gave the Chinese pairs team a score of plus three in seven different elements, which none of the other judges did. At the same time, he gave the team’s rivals, the German couple Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot, the lowest mark of all the judges.

“The alleged assailant [Huang] committed one of the most serious ethical offenses a judge can be charged with,” the ISU said in its verdict.

“The seriousness of his fault is compounded by the fact that it was committed at the Winter Olympics, arguably the most important and prestigious competition in figure skating.”

Canadian pair skaters Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford were among those hurt by Huang’s bias as they finished third behind the Chinese pair.

Duhamel denounced Huang’s inclusion in Beijing.

“You shouldn’t be allowed to be suspended, and your reward works in the next Olympics,” Duhamel, who retired after Pyeongchang, told Reuters in January.

“As a sport, we tried to weed these people out, not bring them back in.”

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