Wednesday, February 27, 2002
Status of Sale, Pelletier for next year unclear
GLOUCESTER, Ontario -- Olympic co-gold medalists Jamie Sale
and David Pelletier of Canada have withdrawn from the World Figure
Skating Championships and may not compete next year, Skate Canada
Sale and Pelletier lacked the time to prepare for another major
competition after the "events of the last two weeks," when they
were the focus of a scandal in Olympic judging.
The Canadians finished second in the pairs competition to Elena
Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze of Russia, but the revelation
that one judge admitted being pressured about voting caused Olympic
officials to award Sale and Pelletier a second set of gold medals.
A special medals ceremony with the two teams was held days after
the competition, with the Russians keeping their gold medals.
"Sale and Pelletier are disappointed they will not compete but
feel they have not had the opportunity to train properly given the
events of the last two weeks," said the Skate Canada statement
announcing their withdrawal from the March 18-24 world
championships in Nagano, Japan.
"They have not decided at this point in time whether they will
remain eligible for next year's events," the statement said.
Valerie Marcoux and Bruno Marcotte would take their place in
Nagano, Skate Canada said.
The Olympic controversy made Sale and Pelletier celebrities in
North America, with appearances on the Tonight Show, CNN,
Entertainment Tonight, and on the covers of Newsweek and Time