sport

No complaint over Sotnikova win

The IOC has congratulated Russian teenager Adelina Sotnikova for winning the Sochi 2014 women's figure skating gold medal.

Questions have been raised over the judging of the event, in which 17-year-old Sotnikova's free programme on Thursday, despite featuring an apparent error, was awarded a higher score than that of South Korea's defending champion Kim Yu Na, whose effort appeared flawless.

Asked by a reporter in Friday's IOC/Sochi 2014 medai briefing on Friday about talk of the result being pre-determined, IOC spokesman Mark Adams said: "I think you're maybe getting a little bit ahead of yourself.

"First off, we have to see if there is an official complaint, which would go to the ISU (International Skating Union).

"This is all hypothetical and I don't think that has happened yet - in fact, I'm certain there hasn't been any complaint.

"If there is one, then that would be the first step for it to go through. If there isn't a credible complaint, then we wouldn't take it any further.

"I saw some of it last night and I think Sotnikova's performance was agreed by many to be absolutely fantastic.

"I know the ISU has a pretty sophisticated judging system with safeguards in place.

"At this stage I think we are discussing purely hypothetical things and at the moment, my personal point of view would be to congratulate what was a fantastic performance - and I think Kim Yu Na did the same."

Meanwhile, the IOC has emphasised it does not want the Olympics to be used as a platform for political protest after Ukrainian skier Bogdana Matsotska was quoted as saying she did not want to participate in the Sochi Winter Games while people were dying in her country.

Protests in Kiev this week, which have left dozens of people dead, are in response to Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych's rejection of a trade deal with Europe and subsequent decision to turn to Russia for financial help.

Ukrainian athletes held a minute's silence in the Athletes' Village on the Olympic Park on Wednesday as a mark of respect for the protesters, and it is understood that some of the 43-strong team have opted to leave the Games to return home.

Adams said: "I understand some have gone home, I understand that the majority are still here and I know the NOC (Ukraine's National Olympic Committee) themselves have expressed the desire to show some kind of solidarity by asking the team to remain here.

"I haven't read the (Matsotska) comments themselves, but clearly everyone is entitled a view and can take a view - particularly once the Games are over, people are allowed to take a stance on anything. Every team will have people of different views.

"But our general principle is that we would not like the Games to be used as a political platform in favour or against any issue."

Asked at a press conference on Friday about Wagner's comments, Sotnikova's coach Elena Buyanova said: "Ashley Wagner came up to congratulate us and she said Adelina skated better.

"It is good to know that she said something behind our backs.''

Fellow coach Eteri Tutberidze also responded to a question about the controversy surrounding Sotnikova's triumph by stressing her belief that the teenager was a worthy winner.

"I will try not to be biased because we are not competitors,'' said

Tutberidze, who coaches Lipnitskaya.

"Frankly speaking, I would say that, for me, yesterday Adelina was the champion.

"It was the skate of her life. I have never seen her before as concentrated and focused as yesterday.

"Maybe there was some talk about Kim Yu Na and I know that she was once unbeatable, but we see that our girls have significantly improved.

"I would not like to criticise anyone because, for me, Kim is a strong person. But, for me, yesterday Adelina won the skating.''

Sotnikova's choreographer Irina Tagaeva added: "We see the emergence of a new star and I think we should not look back all the time.

"Now we see the new star here in Russia (Sotnikova), and another in Yulia.

"I would like the whole world to support these athletes because they are really strong and they won the Olympics here in Sochi.''