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Resource ID: #28260
Subject: Sports
Source: NBC News
Affiliation: 
Date: 18-Feb

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Description

When it comes to judging Olympic figure skating, nationalistic bias is measurable and statistically significant. Data shows a typical judge will give about three points more to an athlete from the same country in cumulative scores. Academics know this. But NBC News showed problems with Olympic skating judging even run deeper. The very people who judge skating include leaders in national skating federations, raising further questions of bias. NBC News found that the pool of 164 judges eligible for PyeongChang's figure-skating events includes 33 judges — roughly a fifth of the total — who hold or have held leadership positions in their national skating federations. NBC News documented how judges caught cheating and breaking the rules routinely are allowed to quickly return to judging the world's top international competitions. NBC News also did something never attempted before: Spotting bias during the Olympics, and naming names. Our stories got results. For the first time, the International Skating Union took action. After the Olympics, one of the judges named by NBC News while the Olympics were going on, Feng Huang of China, was sanctioned for statistical patterns of bias.

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