Canadian skater sabotaged by Yank?
Simon Cho (L) of the U.S. leads Canada's Olivier Jean (R) during the men's 500 metres final at the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Sheffield, northern England, March 12, 2011. (REUTERS)
An American speed skater tampered with the skates of a Canadian competitor at an event last year, allegedly on the orders of his coach, according to a legal document.
Canadian skater Olivier Jean couldn’t finish a relay because of a malfunctioning skate, forcing his teammates to continue the race with just three skaters. The Canadians finished fourth in the event at the world short track speed skating championship in Warsaw in March 2011.
Simon Cho allegedly told a teammate that U.S. coach Jae Su Chun told Cho to tamper with Jean’s skates, according to the document, obtained by National Public Radio. Cho, a bronze medallist at the 2010 Olympics, said he followed the coach’s directions and fiddled with Jean’s blades.
The allegation is contained in a “demand for arbitration” and filed by an attorney for 13 American short track skaters who are seeking the dismissal of U.S. coaches accused of physical, verbal and psychological abuse.
Speed Skating Canada released the following statement regarding the tampering allegations:
"Through arbitration filing documents in the United States, it has come to our attention that a member of the U.S. speed skating national team may have tampered with the skates of a Canadian team skater during the 2011 World Short Track Team Championships," it read. "As this is a legal matter before the courts, SSC, and its national team members, will not be further discussing this issue until the conclusion and resolutions from the court proceedings, or at another appropriate time."