The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "competitions" ...

  • BuzzFeed News: The Edge

    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.
  • NBC News: Bias In Olympic Figure Skating Judging

    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.
  • Tennessee Walking Horse Torture

    In a far-reaching investigation that spurred industry-wide change and calls for Congressional oversight, the ABC News investigative team exposed the ugly truth behind famed Tennessee Walking Horses: large numbers have been tortured and beaten in order to make them produce the high-stepping gait that wins championships (and significant cash prizes for their owners).
  • The Mafia of Public Job Competitions

    The story shows that investigations for fraud in public job competitions have been carried out in every Brazilian state. Required to join municipal, state and federal institutions, the competitions should be meant to choose the best applicants. However, only those appointed by politicians, and people who pay for a given position, are approved. Making use of a hidden camera, the reporter caught off-guard seven companies that fraud competitions and still approve only applicants appointed by mayors and other officials. Some sell the positions directly to the applicants.
  • "Little Leagues, Big Costs"

    This five-day series chronicles the experiences with youth sports of high school and college athletes and coaches. By establishing "baseline data" that has been previously unreported, Dispatch reporters found a "corrupted" sports program overrun with angry parents and practices that cause severe injury to young athletes. Rising costs and financial competitions are added pressures to the industry.
  • Blood on the Rings - Tales of Torture

    The human rights violations by Saddam Hussein and his ruling family are well documented. Tom Farrey uncovered a new aspect of this story. Iraqi Olympic athletes were often tortured for failing to win competitions. Some accuse Saddam's son Uday Hussein with turning the Iraqi Olympic building into headquarters for criminal operations involving smuggling stolen cars and other goods.
  • The Perfect Race

    ABC News 20/20 reports on an international doping scandal involving "young athletes in East Germany during a government sponsored scheme to win Gold medals at any cost." The investigation reveals "a sinister experiment carried out ... on children as young as age 10..." in order "to turn young women into virtual men." The report uncovers documents from "the Stasi headquarters (East Germany's secret police) ... [which] detailed how more that 10,000 athletes were systematically doped by a state-sanctioned scheme over a 20-year period." The production features interviews "with East German athletes who were victimized by this government-run program" and "athletes from the United States who would have won the Olympic Gold medals had the East German athletes been disqualified."
  • The Attack of the (Killer?) Bees

    Education Week investigates the effects of academic competitions on high school and grade school children. Increasing numbers of bees and competitions motivate bright students to learn and may help them into the best universities, but the intense competitions also rob children of their free time and teach kids to work against rather than with their peers.
  • The Big Cheat

    Chicago Magazine reports that "Steinmetz High School's surprise victory in last spring's academic decathlon seemed to be a Horatio Alger tale that all Chicago could celebrate. But it turned into a troubling story of ambition, resentment, and deceit - all under the wing of an exceptionally popular, manipulative teacher.."