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Gymnastics judge Deriugina appeals ban

Rhythmic gymnastics judge Irina Deriugina was set Monday to appeal the ban that would keep her from both the Beijing and London Olympics.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Rhythmic gymnastics judge Irina Deriugina will appeal the ban that would keep her from both the Beijing and London Olympics on Monday.

Deriugina will appear before the Court of Arbitration for Sport to appeal her punishment for breaching five points of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) code. She has been banned from judging until 2012.

FIG initially banned the Ukrainian for eight years for damaging the image of gymnastics, improperly influencing the result of a competition, and behaving in an offensive way toward gymnasts or officials.

She appealed that decision, and the FIG’s appeal tribunal decided earlier this month to cut the ban in half. However, that would still prevent her from judging at the Beijing and London Olympics. She is still allowed to coach at the games.

“These violations against the statutes and the code of discipline must render a severe sanction,” the federation said then. “The tribunal finds, however, that eight years is too long and has shortened the sanctions by one Olympic cycle.”

Deriugina missed the 2000 Games while serving a one-year judging suspension. She and five other officials were found to have discriminated against Ukrainian competitor Elena Vitrichenko, who trained at a rival gym, at the European Championships in Zaragoza, Spain.

As a past member of the FIG’s technical commission for rhythmic gymnastics, Deriugina has helped teach and evaluate judges, as well as determine the sport’s scoring system. She was scheduled to serve in Beijing on the superior jury, which corrects poor judging decisions and deals with disciplinary cases.

The all-around world champion in 1977 and 1979, she now coaches current world champion Anna Bessonova in Kiev.