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Figure skating, one of the most popular sports at the Winter Olympics, has a problem: Scoring is often slanted in favor of the judges' home countries. In this exclusive analysis, BuzzFeed News showed that one third of the officials selected to judge the 2018 Winter Olympics had, in recent seasons, demonstrated a home-country preference so strikingly consistent that the odds of it occurring by random chance were less than 1 in 100,000.
Figure skating, unlike other subjective judged Olympic sports, lets national sports federations decide who will judge athletes. This apparently creates an incentive for bias. Judges know they have to please their national sports federation to go to the Olympics. These judges give higher scores when their own country’s athletes perform. Nationalistic bias is measurable. In addition, NBC News roughly a fifth of the judges in the pool to judge the games hold or have held leadership positions in their national skating federations. We went further and during the Olympics named the names of judges who showed the most bias in scoring. One of those judges was later sanctioned - the first time a judge has ever been sanctioned for statistically showing bias.
A CBS News 60 Minutes investigation "exposed the widespread pattern of corruption in one of the world's most popular and profitable sports: international figure skating." It also looks at the sport in the context of the 2002 Olympic pairs figure skating scandal.