Picture, Linda Fratianne skates to an olympic medal. AP
Linda Fratianne, who finished second behind Anett Poetzsch in Olympic figure skating on Saturday, will not defend her 1979 World Championship in West Germany next month, her mother told The Washington Post today.
Virginia Fratianne was upset about the scoring during the Olympic competition and today accused Carlo Fassi, the famous figure skating coach who guided Dorothy Hamill and John Curry to their gold medals four years ago, of manipulating and influencing the judging against her daughter.
Fassi, who had several skaters in this competition, including men's champion Robin Cousins of Great Britain Scott Cramer of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Emi Watanabe of Japan, said "Tell her to prove it. I don't want to comment on anything so silly."
Fassi's wife Crista said, "They have to find a scapegoat, and he's it."
Fassi added, "It's one thing to lose, 5-4, but to lose 7-2. . . On the final ballot, Potzsch had seven first-place votes and Fratianne two."
Mrs. Fratianne said that as a result of the judging in Lake Placid, her daughter decided this morning not to compete in the upcoming world championship.
"She doesn't want to go," Mrs. Fratianne said. "She doesn't want to get into the Carlo Fassi judging thing. It would be dumb, because we feel he manipulated and influenced the judges and it would happen again at worlds and there is no point in going."
Linda Fratianne was unavailable for comment. Asked how her daughter was feeling, Mrs. Fratianne said, "She's teary-eyed. She felt she had won it, and she knows she didn't I think if she had blown a figure or something, she most likely (would have) felt better about it."
Despite getting scores in both the short program and free-skating parts of the competition than gold medalist Poetzsch, Fratianne could not make up the ground she lost to Poetzsch in the school figures, which count for 30 percent of the final score.
After the school figures, Fratianne's coach, Frank Carroll, criticized the judging that put Linda in third place behind Poetzsch and Dagmar Lurz of West Germany.
"It turned out exactly the way I said it would months and months ago," Carroll said Wednesday. "They put two German girls ahead of her to make it hard for her to catch them. They (the Middle European judging bloc) used Lurz as a buffer to separate them (Fratianne and Poetzsch). They separated them first to third."
After the competition ended on Saturday, Carroll repeated the charge and said that he knew "The competition had been lost for Linda before the freestyle began." It was lost, he said, in the school figures.
According to Mrs. Fratianne, Fassi came to her in 1973 and said, "I'd like to teach her (Linda). I think I can make her a world champion. I can get the judges."
"Carlo always had the reputation of getting the judges," Mrs. Fratianne said.
At the Time, Carroll was Linda's coach and her parents were very pleased with his coaching. They decided to stay with him, although he never had coached a world champion.
Carroll remained her only to coach through 1977, when Fratianne won her first national title. "We were terribly excited," Mrs. Fratianne said. "We"We had done it without Carlo."
Linda went on to win her first world championship in Tokyo that year, but lost the title the next year to Poetzsch.
"It may have been a fluke, her winning in Tokyo," Mrs. Fratianne said. "The year after when she lost there was big spread in the scoring (between Fratianne and Poetzsch). We thought it was too big.
"An official told us, 'You need Carlo Fassi. He gets the judges,'" Mrs. Fratianne said.
The Fratiannes then went to Fassi for help. They brought him in to help Linda, though Carroll was retained as her coach.
"She did much better in Vienna (where she won the 1979 world championship) when he was helping," she said. The Fratiannes paid Fassi for his time and thanked him for his advice.
Because Fassi has the reputation as someone who makes Olympic champions, the Fratiannes went to him for additional insurance in helping Linda prepare for Lake Placid; Carroll still was her coach of record."He (Fassi) told me he was going on vacation," Mrs. Fratianne said. "It was obvious to me that he did not want to help Linda.
At the end of the school figures, Fratianne was in third place and trailed Poetzsch by 15 ordinals, a significant amount. Both Mrs. Fratianne and Carroll thought Linda's marks were too low.
Mrs. Fratianne says that after the first set of figures, "Carlo grabbed the Austrian team leader, and after the next figure the Austrian judge put Linda fourth. . . The English judge told me Dagmar's (Lurz) loop was terrible. Everyone felt that Carlo had gotten Linda."
According to Mrs. Fratianne, after the compulsory figures, she approached Fassi and said, "Congratulations, you are doing your job well." After the short program, in which Linda cut Poetzsch's lead in half, Mrs. Fratianne said she told Fassi, "If she loses, I'll do everything I can to sue you for the difference in the money she might realize (in the pros) between the silver and the gold medal."
Ian Anderson, the editor of Skating Magazine, said recently, "She's got to win, of course. No doubt about it. If she comes in second or third it'll drop her earnings potential by 50 percent -- you've got to have that gold medal walking off the ice."
"He's crucified Linda," Mrs. Fratianne said about Fassi. When asked why Fassi might do this, Mrs. Fratianne said, "He's trying desperately to keep his image intact, that you need him to get a gold medal for the U.S. . . . Everybody goes to him at the end of their career so they can win the gold medal."
Dorothy Hamill, for example, left her coach in New York at age 13 to go train with Fassi in Colorado. Peggy Flemming brought Fassi in to help her only with school figures during the 1968 Olympics.