Nineteen current and former U.S. speedskaters have band together and will request arbitration to expedite the dismissal of short track coach Jae Su Chun, who the team members filed a code of conduct complaint against with U.S. Speedskating (USS) and the USOC for “unchecked abuse.”
The complain alleges a number of incidents involving Chun, including shoving one skater into a wall and repeatedly hitting him, as well as throwing bottles, chairs, binders, and equipment, and calling female athletes “fat,” and “disgusting.” Chun acknowledged the allegations, but claimed he was innocent in a translated statement released Monday.
The athletes are hoping to have Chun, who was put on administrative leave Sunday, and assistants Jun Hyung Yeo and Jimmy Jang removed before the 2012-13 World Cup team is selected on Sept. 30, since World Cup points are directly related to how speedskaters qualify for the Olympics.
However Yeo wasn’t suspended and will step in as interim coach in the meantime, which apparently doesn’t satisfy the skaters’ request.
“The athletes we represent have made known that they will not represent the United States in the upcoming World Cup international competitions if made to participate on a team on which coach Jae Su and/or his two assistant coaches are members, as coaches or in any other capacity,” Edward Williams, the attorney for the skaters, said Monday.
USS communications director, Tamara Castellano, said during a Monday conference call that the governing body hopes to have the investigation done in time for the team trials on Sept. 27 in Salt Lake City.
Olympic gold medalists ramp up their track and field seasons at the Penn Relays and Drake Relays, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold this weekend.
Athletes are working toward the U.S. Championships in June and the world championships in August.
First, the historic Penn Relays will air on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold on Friday (5:30-6:30 p.m. ET) and Saturday (12:30-3 p.m. ET).
USA vs. The World in men’s and women’s 4x100m, 4x400m and sprint medley relays will air live on Saturday from Franklin Field in Philadelphia. A full schedule is here.
The U.S. teams are led by Olympic relay champions English Gardner and Natasha Hastings. The full roster is here.
Rio Olympic rematches highlight the individual-event fields at the Drake Relays in Des Moines on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold from 3-5 p.m ET on Saturday. A full schedule is here.
Perhaps no field is deeper than the 100m hurdles. World-record holder Keni Harrison takes on Rio silver and bronze medalists Kristi Castlin and Nia Ali, plus 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson.
The 110m hurdles contingent is strong as well. It features the last two Olympic champions, Jamaican Omar McLeod and American Aries Merritt, plus 2013 World champion David Oliver.
Grenada’s Kirani James and American LaShawn Merritt, who earned silver and bronze in Rio, go head-to-head again in the 400m at Drake.
The men’s 1500m is headlined by Rio Olympic 800m bronze medalist Clayton Murphy and London Olympic 1500m silver medalist Leo Manzano.
Rio bronze medalist Jenny Simpson races individually for the first time this year in the women’s 1500m.
That field also includes New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin, who gained fame of her own in Rio. Hamblin and American Abbey D’Agostino fell in an Olympic 5000m heat and helped each other make it to the finish line. Both were praised for their sportsmanship.
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Esports are gaining momentum in the international sports movement, but they are not close to becoming an Olympic sport.
“We are not yet 100 percent clear whether esports is really sport, with regard to physical activity and what it needs to be considered sport,” IOC president Thomas Bach said Tuesday, according to insidethegames. “We do not see an organization or a structure that will give us confidence, or guarantee, that in this area the Olympic rules and values of sport are respected and in place, and that the implementation of these rules are monitored and secured.”
The first clear step (of many) to become an Olympic sport is for the IOC to recognize the sport’s international governing body.
Esports will be added as a medal sport to the Asian Games in 2022, and has been praised by LA 2024 Olympic bid chairman Casey Wasserman, but it is not yet IOC recognized.
“We are watching it, we see the differences, we see the lack of organisation,” Bach said, according to the report. “But we also see the high engagement of youth in esports. Therefore, we have to carefully consider how this could be consolidated.”
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