- - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Certain recent occurrences at the Sochi Olympics have demonstrated the need for judges and officials to be from nations other than those with athletes competing in the game in question. This would rule out the possibility of favoritism.

We witnessed a controversial call by an American referee to disallow a Russian goal against the United States in a men’s hockey game (a call that not only cost the Russians the game but possibly a medal, too), and a Russian judge who is married to Russian figure skating federation general director Valentin Pissev judging the individual figure skating competition. That skating event saw 17-year-old Adelina Sotnikova of Russia, who was not seen as a medal contender, beat out heavily favored superstar and defending Olympic gold medalist Yuna Kim of South Korea for the gold.

Even if a judge is trying to be fair, I believe he would naturally favor his countrymen without even being aware of it.

KENNETH L. ZIMMERMAN

Huntington Beach, Calif.