Swiss Mixed Doubles Controversy: Was it cheating?

Tuesday 07th, March 2017 / 18:18 Written by

The Switzerland Mixed Doubles National Championship just concluded in Biel Switzerland with Martin Rios and Jenny Perret winning a best of three final over Michelle and Reto Gribi to advance to the World Championships.

What has recently come to light is accusations of cheating during the draw 3 game on Friday between Rios/Perret and Jaggi/Freiberger after video has surfaced from their game showing what appears to be a purposely redirected stone by Martin Rios on a missed shot that helps make the shot.

The game had gone into an extra end with the teams tied at 6 with Jaggi/Freiberger holding the hammer and last shot. On Rios/Perret’s last shot, they needed a short¬†runback to remove a stone from the button or the game would be over with the win going to Jaggi/Freiberger. The shot appeared to be tight for line, but at the last minute the rock moved outward and was made.

The last shot for Freiberger was not hard, just needing to promote his own onto their opponent’s stone, but as karma would have it, a pick caused their last stone to over-curl and miss giving Perret/Rios the steal and “possibly stolen” win.

Watch the game here, skip ahead to 1:44:00 to watch the last two shots:
Swiss Mixed Doubles: Perret/Rios vs Jaggi/Freiberger

The classic foot wedge… often used in golf to improve your lie but in curling, it would take some crafty work to improve a shot without being noticed. Accusations of cheating have been made in the past but to consider using it when you know the games are being streamed and recorded is surpring.

A close-up full speed look at the shot:

A look at it with the shot paused at key spots:

Lines drawn to show to path of the delivered stone:

You have to wonder if there was any intent in what appears to be a touch, but after it happened you can’t excuse the team not saying something about it. As the videos above show, it seems to be very likely that the rock was on a path to nose hit the stone and ended up being redirected by the sweeper’s foot as he flipped around the back of the stone.

Had this shot been missed the game would have been over and Jaggi/Freiberger would have had the extra-end win. It’s understandable that neither Jaggi or Freiberger would have protested too much at the time of the shot, they were unsure they saw what they saw and left with a very makeable shot for the win, they kept their focus on the game and threw a good stone for the win. Unfortunately, the curling gods were not on their side that day and we’re left with this mess to sort out.

The event was a 7 team round robin with 3 teams considered favourites to compete for the title, the finalists Rios/Perret and Gribi/Gribi who both went 5-1 in the Round Robin and Michele Jaggi/Mario Freiberger who went 4-2 and were awarded the Bronze medal.

You can see in the video that Jaggi/Freiberger knew something may have happened and were asking their opponents about what happened. Teams checked the video after the game but until they saw it a day later on a full-screen computer was it much more obvious that something untoward may have happened.

Swiss curling players and fans are understandably upset:

Reportedly an investigation is underway to determine whether any sanctions or changes in the results should happen.

 

 

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