Moir hits back at allegations of biased ice dance judging

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - Canada’s multiple gold medal winner Scott Moir on Wednesday hit back at allegations by a French sports official that judging in the Olympic ice dance event could have been skewed in Canada’s favor.

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In comments to French television, Didier Gailhaguet, president of the French Federation of Ice Sports, suggested the presence of Canadian judge Leanna Caron, who also serves as president of Skate Canada, on the panel could have tipped the results in favor of gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Moir.

“We aren’t involved in the picking of the judges, we’re not concerned with what country sits on the panel,” Moir told a news conference.

“At Skate Canada, we have a history of very professional judging that’s very fair, and we’re proud of that. I feel that, as Canadians, when you win in Olympics, it’s when you deserve it, and we feel like these Olympics medals, that we deserve (them).”

Virtue and Moir edged French rivals Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron by less than a point overall to win gold on Tuesday.

The Canadians earned a total score of 206.07, eclipsing the world record that had been set moments before by the French duo, who finished on 205.28.

Virtue and Moir, who won gold in Vancouver eight years ago, have dominated ice dance since they returned to competition after retiring following a silver at the Sochi Games in 2014.

The duo also won two medals in the team event - silver in Sochi and gold in Pyeongchang.

The pair had previously said the Pyeongchang Games would be their last Olympics and hinted that retirement from competition could be in their plans soon.

“Our heads haven’t come out of the clouds since the end of the music yesterday, how can you make a decision?,” Moir said of the prospect of retiring. “We’re so emotional, so we need some time, we’re going to take it.”

Moir added that the pair could be looking to halt their careers to dedicate more time to their personal lives.

Reporting by Yiming Woo; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly