Israeli gymnastics hit by allegations parents were asked to bribe judges

Israeli gymnastics hit by allegations parents were asked to bribe judges
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    30 days ago

Israeli gymnastics has been rocked by allegations that parents were asked to bribe judges to give their children higher marks in international competitions.

The bribery claims were made in an investigation that was broadcast on Channel 13, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Ayelet Dayan-Levitt, the mother of Israeli rhythmic gymnastic star Ofir Dayan, was among those to be interviewed in the investigation.

Dayan is a seven-time European medallist, winning gold in 2020 and 2021, and represented Israel at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

According to the report, Icha Kramer, a former Board member of the Israel Gymnastics Federation, was heard telling Dayan-Levitt that it was "not enough to just be the best, you need a lot of money and a lot of connections".

Dayan-Levitt said that a senior international judge told her that "what managed to secure entry and the final for the Israeli team" at the Beijing 2008 Olympics was a bribe in the shape of jewellery worth ILS60,000 (£13,700/$16,500/€15,500).

It is also claimed by Kramer in the report that a judge took a bribe of ILS40,000 (£9,100/$11,000/€10,400) and "it helped a lot that [the team] reached the Olympics."

Dayan-Levitt recalled that she first became aware of possible bribery in the sport when her daughter was preparing to compete in the 2015 European Junior Team Championship.
If we don’t give our gifts in competitions to the judges, we have nothing to come to competition.
One of the parents would buy about 10 bags like that, we would bring them to the coaches and they would give them to the judges.
Dayan-Levitt said
You wait for the lottery, see which judge has placed himself in the more influential position — and give the more expensive gifts to the judge with the greater influence in that competition for the grade.
The Israel Gymnastics Federation has vehemently denied the allegations of bribery.
The liars…will not succeed in their dark plot to damage the Olympic gold medals and dozens of other medals that Israel won solely thanks to great sporting achievements, as the whole world saw on live television broadcasts and not in the dark,” the governing body told Haaretz.
Mrs Levitt lied to you, as will also happen to the International Gymnastics Federation, which is why she is being sued for a defamation claim for a sum of over ILS800,000 (£182,500/$220,250/€207,200).
Unfortunately, one disgruntled lady slanders the gymnastics association, which is conducted in an exemplary manner and, as mentioned, brings honour and prestige, rightly, to Israeli sports.
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