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Judges to use replay if scoring decision protested

5/10/2005

MOUTIER, Switzerland -- Video replays will be tested at the
European gymnastics championships next month, the sport's latest
attempt to avoid scoring errors like the one that plagued the
Athens Olympics.

Replay would allow judges to go back and watch a routine if
there's a scoring protest during a competition. If an error is
found, it could quickly be corrected.

USA Gymnastics successfully has used a similar review system for
several years. The International Gymnastics Federation, known as
the FIG, said Tuesday that replay also was tested at the World Cup
final in December, with "positive results."

Had video replay been available at the Athens Games, the debacle
following the men's all-around might have been avoided.

Two days after Paul Hamm won the gold medal, the FIG announced
that South Korean gymnast Yang Tae-young was wrongly docked a tenth
of a point from the start value of his parallel bars routine. Yang
won the bronze medal, finishing 0.049 points behind Hamm.

Yang protested the results, and it wasn't until two months later
that the Court of Arbitration for Sport declared Hamm the rightful
winner.

The FIG also said it was moving forward with a controversial
proposal that would replace the traditional 10.0 scoring system
with an open-ended format. Several former Olympic champions have
publicly opposed the change, and USA Gymnastics expressed its
concern to FIG officials.

But the FIG said Tuesday that its men's and women's technical
committees are continuing to work on the new code, including
suggestions made at a symposium last month, and have an Aug. 31
deadline to complete it. The FIG's executive committee is scheduled
to vote on the proposal at its Oct. 10 meeting.