Short Track Speed Skating: US Championships

Skaters call accusations against Chun “baseless”

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Less than a week after 14 current members of the U.S. short track team filed a code of conduct complaint with U.S. Speedskating the USOC that alleged abuse by head coach Jae Su Chun, nine teammates have released a statement calling the accusations “baseless” and “false.”

“We have never seen any abuse take place — physical, sexual, verbal or emotional — and we know these men are not capable of abuse,” the statement reads. “We truly believe that Jae Su is the most knowledgeable short track speedskating coach in the world and that he conducts himself ethically and with integrity in every way.”

The list of athletes who signed the statement includes Vancouver bronze medalists Lana Gehring and Kimberly Derrick, as well as Jessica Smith, John-Henry Krueger, Tamara Frederick, Cole Krueger, Eduardo Alvarez, Chris Creveling and Keith Carroll Jr.

The members who accuse Chun of abuse say he threw one skater into a wall and called female members “fat” and “disgusting.” The group is boycotting the national team and have requested arbitration so that Chun’s dismissal can be expedited before World Cup Team Trials begin Sept. 30 in Utah.

Gehring agrees that Chun pushes the team hard, but told the AP that he cares deeply about his skaters. The group concludes the statement by saying they plan on cooperating with the investigation and would like to “put this behind us and get back to focusing on what U.S. speedskaters do best — winning medals!”

We’ll see what kind of divide the outcome, whatever it happens to be, creates between teammates.

No Zika cases from Olympics, WHO says

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 12:  An aerial view of the Christ The Redeemer statue (F) and the Maracana Stadium (B) on November 12, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
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There have been zero Zika virus cases stemming from the Rio Olympics, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

“From the reports WHO received from national health authorities, there have so far been no laboratory confirmed cases of Zika virus in anyone associated with the Olympics,” the organization said in an online update Thursday.

Earlier this summer, several athletes cited Zika concerns in skipping the Olympics.

The World Health Organization said before the Rio Games that the Olympics posed “a very low risk” of accelerating the Zika virus spread around the world.

Thousands of athletes will come to Rio for the Paralympics that run from Sept. 7-18, which is still during Brazil’s winter, lessening the Zika risk.

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Devon Allen weighs turning pro in track and field

Devon Allen
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University of Oregon hurdler and wide receiver Devon Allen said he “thinks” he’s turning pro in track, but also said he hasn’t really decided if his NCAA track career is finished Thursday.

“There’s not really much more I can do in college track other than break the collegiate record,” Allen said.

Allen, a University of Oregon junior, finished fifth in the Rio Olympic 110m hurdles on Aug. 16 after winning the Olympic Trials on July 9.

Allen can turn pro in track and field and still play football for the Ducks, so long as he keeps his track and field profits to prize money and not endorsement deals.

He’s definitely planning on playing for Oregon’s football team this season, perhaps even in the season opener Sept. 3.

As for track season next winter and spring, that’s looking unlikely. Allen noted that he has won NCAA individual and team titles.

The only missing piece is the NCAA record of 13.00 set by former world-record holder Renaldo Nehemiah. Allen’s personal best is 13.03.

It’s clear that Allen would like to be a professional in both track and football.

“The NFL is something I’ve been dreaming about doing, just like I dreamed about running in the Olympics,” said Allen, who caught nine passes for 94 yards last season, coming back from tearing knee ligaments in the Rose Bowl. “I kind of accomplished that Olympic dream, obviously, in four years, I want to win a gold medal, so that’s one more step to that dream. Now my next dream is to play in the NFL.”

VIDEO: Top track and field moments from Rio Olympics