After winning his ninth
National title at Russian Nationals last month, it appeared that Evgeni
Plushenko might be unable to compete at the European Championships or World Championships unless
he could find a way to quickly satisfy the TES point qualification requirements for ISU
Per ISU rules and Communication 1619, to compete in an ISU Championship this season a skater must satisfy the following requirements:
While these point totals would be easy for Plushenko to meet, he has not competed at an ISU recognized international competition either this season or last, though he did compete at the 2010 Japan Open, a team competition in which he participated as an ineligible person.
With few viable opportunities to qualify under the rules in the next few weeks, the Russian Skating Federation appealed to the ISU Council to throw away the rulebook and let Plushenko compete anyway. On 3 January 2011 the ISU released the following statement:
Evgeny Plushenko to compete at ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2012
This waiver is only for the European Championships, and he must still qualify for the World Championships in March. There are several Senior International Competitions in February and March where he could qualify; however, that will likely prove unnecessary. The European Championships are an ISU recognized international competition, and the scores there can count towards qualification for the World Championships, under Article 38 and Rule 107. So by turning a blind eye to the requirements for the European Championships the ISU kills two birds with one stone.
Given the benefit to the ISU of having Plushenko compete at Europeans and Worlds, and the debt the ISU owes the Russian Skating Federation for bailing the ISU out at Worlds earlier this year, could any other outcome have been expected?
Or to paraphrase the line from the Mexican banditos in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Rules? Rules? We don't need to follow no stink'n rules.
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Copyright 2012 by George S. Rossano