U.S. Figure Skating has fined and reprimanded Rachael Flatt for not the stress fracture that plagued her at the world championships.
It is believed to be the first time an athlete in an Olympic sport has been fined for this type of rules violation, although no records exist to determine with certainty whether what is believed to be a small fine is unprecedented. The money involved clearly was less important than the message sent by the sanction.
The federation is addressing separately what if any action to take against Tom Zakrajsek, who was her coach at worlds. Flatt, who had worked with Zakrajsek in Colorado Springs for several seasons, ended their working relationship after last season because she intends to begin college at Stanford in September.
Phil Hersh intimates that the inquiry began because of complaints from Frank Carroll.
There is a lot to be annoyed by in this situation, but possibly the worst part was that the stress fracture was ever discussed at all. Flatt and her team were never going to mention it until they needed to use it as an excuse for a poor performance. Well, unfortunately, that made her immediately untrustworthy for any future event. Hopefully this action by USFSA will deter other skaters from hiding similar injuries. I'm not convinced that Mirai Nagasu would have skated well enough or kept her composure enough to gain the U.S. that third slot in next year's worlds, but I do think she could have made a top ten finish, at least.