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Olympic notes: Skating protest by South Korea

The South Korean Olympic Committee protested the results of the women’s figure skating competition, although the sport’s international governing body said Saturday it has not yet received the letter.

International Skating Union rules always have required such protests be filed immediately after the event.

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The Koreans believe the judging was biased and cost Kim Yu Na a gold medal. The 2010 champion finished with silver, behind Russian teenager Adelina Sotnikova.

Much of the uproar centers on what many perceived as a lack of artistry in Sotnikova’s program. Yet her marks were comparable or better than those for the highly artistic Kim. Her technical marks were significantly better.

Bronze medalist Carolina Kostner of Italy also fell into the same category as Kim in her marks.

Asked to comment on South Korean media reports of the protest, International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said any figure skating issues would be a matter for the ISU to handle.

On Friday, the ISU released a statement saying it ‘‘is confident in the high quality and integrity of the ISU judging system.’’

Emotional rescue

Ukraine’s victory in the women’s biathlon relay was the standout moment of the Sochi Olympics, a powerful symbol of unity during the country’s bloody political crisis, IOC president Thomas Bach said.

Bach praised Ukraine’s athletes for staying in Sochi to compete for their country despite the violence and turmoil that has left scores dead at home.

‘‘In this moment, mourning on the one hand, but knowing what really is going on in your country, seeing your capital burning, and feeling this responsibility, and then winning the gold medal, this really stands out for me,’’ Bach said. ‘‘It was really an emotional moment.’’

Attacker held accountable

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said the Cossack who horsewhipped members of Pussy Riot has been ‘‘held accountable’’ for the attack.

The punk group spent five days in Sochi this week, filming footage for its new video criticizing President Vladimir Putin and the Sochi Olympics.

A group of Cossacks armed with whips was in central Sochi on Wednesday.

Minutes after the group started to perform its song, one Cossack began lashing his whip.

Asked about the band’s treatment in Sochi, Kozak would not specifically say what action was taken against the attacker. Local media reported Friday he was fined, but they did not identify him.

Plushenko to have surgery

Four-time Olympic medalist Evgeni Plushenko will have back surgery March 2.

Plushenko, 31, withdrew from the men’s figure skating short program just days after helping Russia win the team gold.

He warmed up for the event Feb. 13 and then dropped out, leaving the host nation with no competitor.

Maze all done

Double gold medalist Tina Maze of Slovenia says the Sochi Olympics will be her final Winter Games. The 30-year-old Maze, who tied for victory in the women’s downhill and won the giant slalom, said ‘‘this is my last Olympics. This is it.’’ Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, who won the super-combined, has also said she would not return for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. Maze completed her fourth Olympics in the slalom on Friday. Her eighth-place finish was her worst result in five events . . . A Latvian hockey player and a Ukrainian cross-country skier failed drug tests, bringing to four the number of doping cases at the Games. The International Olympic Committee said Vitalijs Pavlovs and Marina Lisogor were both expelled from the Games . . . A coalition of more than 30 human rights and gay rights groups is calling on the IOC to ensure that future Olympic host countries do not have discriminatory laws on their books. The coalition made the demands in a joint letter to Bach as the Olympics neared to a close.

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