Originally created 03/06/02

Ex-Olympian: Russians have long history of cheating

I'm happy someone finally had the guts to publish the story about the figure-skating scandal with the Russians (and the French judge) at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games.

I am a Hungarian-born American who spent many years in sports and was on the Hungarian Olympic rowing team twice in 1952 and 1956.

We did not win anything, but I had plenty of time to see how the Soviet Union cheated and falsified their "victories" for dozens of years. I could write a book about events in which the Soviets cheated, terrorized and forced people and countries to give them the winnings. Amazingly, no U.S. media ever mentioned them, though it was known by many people for dozens of years.

One of the greatest things in the U.S. Constitution is the separation of religion from politics. So should it be in sports. Separate sports from politics.

Many sports events have tried the following: Use more judges, throw out the two highest and the two lowest scores and do not let judges judge his or her own country's competitors. It has worked very well in many cases, but the dominating Soviet Union and its faithful supporters would not let it be used.

I played many times against Soviet "athletes" and was told not to dare beat them. In Communist countries, where I spent 11 miserable years, we knew the consequences if we did not obey.

So, I am happy, and I hope and wish the French judge has the courage to tell the whole story and the U.S. media will have the guts and decency to publish it.

Dr. Bela Vitez, Aiken, S.C.


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