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ISU Will Not Sanction Rochette; She will join Stars on Ice

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Although the International Skating Union stated yesterday that it was considering sanctioning Olympic bronze medalist Joannie Rochette, the union has come to its senses and decided not to embroil itself further in its PR nightmare.

Rochette was breaking the rules by scheduling an exhibition performance for a television show ("Thin Ice") around the same time as the world championships, which she has decided not to compete in.  According to CTV:

Rochette's decision to pull out of the ISU-approved competition, while remaining committed to the TV appearance raised the ire of the skating union, which said it might sanction the skater for her decision.

"If she's withdrawn from worlds, she can't skate the exhibition without risking the sanction," Skate Canada CEO William Thompson said Monday.

"If she'd done both, it would have been fine because she wouldn't have been favouring an exhibition over an ISU event. But if she decides to be out of worlds, she can't do the exhibition either."

On Tuesday afternoon, however, CTV's Richard Madan said Rochette's agent has since indicated that the ISU was unlikely to punish the popular Olympian.

"Her agent did confirm to me that the International Skating Union had backed down," Madan told CTV News Channel from Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon.

In additional Rochette news, the Canadian skater will be joining Stars on Ice in four Florida tour dates, according to the Winnipeg Press.