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Skating federation backs down, allows Joannie Rochette to do exhibition

The International Skating Union has decided to allow Olympic bronze medalist Joannie Rochette of Canada to perform an exhibition tribute to her late mother at an unsanctioned competition Thursday in Connecticut.

Michael Slipchuk, high performance director of Skate Canada, sent an  e-mail with the ISU's decision Tuesday to concerned parties. Here is its text, from a copy obtained by the Chicago Tribune:

"The ISU has agreed to relax ISU rule 136 for Joannie, due to the unique and extenuating circumstances of this particular request, and allow her participation in an exhibition number only (not a competition) at MGM Grand at Foxwoods, USA.

"Therefore, Skate Canada has also granted a sanction for her participation in this event."

-- Philip Hersh

Earlier: Skate federation cutting Olympic heroine Joannie Rochette no slack

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