Heavy Russian women
Ekaterina Skudina, Natalia Ivanova and Diana Krutskikh went into the closed hearing of the International Jury after 2kg of lead was discovered in their boat during measurement check. The lead was concealed under the floor, discovered when an inspection hatch was opened and the space investigated.
It is thought that the lead was used to bring the boat up to the class minimum weight.
The Russian trio went before chairman John Doerr and fellow jurors Bernard Bonneau, Sally Burnett, Marianne Middelthon and Bill O’Hara who imposed no sanction because they couldn’t be sure that the sailors had knowledge that the illegal lead was there, never mind being able to establish that they bore any responsibility for it being there.
Posting its findings, the Jury concluded: “The fact that RUS was presented for pre-race equipment control in a condition that did not comply with the Class Rules, is not by itself a gross breach of good manners or sportsmanship. It is possible that the lead could have been placed in the boat without the knowledge of the crew during the last two years. The location of the weight makes it possible that the crew were not aware of its presence, consequently the Jury are not satisfied that there was a gross breach of sportsmanship.”
The fact that there no action was taken has caused consternation amongst other teams. One team leader felt that some marker should have been put down making crews responsible for the condition of their equipment, fearing abuses in the future. He also questioned why the lead and/or the weight discrepancy had not been discovered during checks for other championships.
Skudina was 8th in the Yngling event at Athens and placed 5th at the last two World Championships.