AP Photo/Jens Meyer, File

U.S. short track coaches resign amid controversy

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U.S. short track coach Jae Su Chun and lead assistant Jun Hyung Yeo resigned Thursday amid allegations of physical and verbal abuse, and an admission from Vancouver bronze medalist Simon Cho who said he tampered with a Canadian rival’s skates at Chun’s request during a meet last year.

Chun and Yeo have also been suspended by U.S. Speedskating and have given up their coaching licenses and opportunity to work with skaters until after the 2014 Sochi Games, according to the USA Today.

News of what will happen to Cho, the team’s youngest skater, is yet to come, but he failed to make the 2012-2013 U.S. World Cup team and said he expects to be suspended.

Nineteen current and former skaters accused Chun of “unchecked” abuse, including incidents of him throwing a skater against the walls, throwing equipment, bottles, and binders, and calling his female athletes “fat” and “disgusting.”

Twelve of those members filed arbitration to expedite Chun’s dismissal before the beginning of the World Cup season, now less than two weeks away, but seven skaters, including Vancouver medalists Lana Gehring and Kimberly Derrick, came out in signed a letter in support of Chun.

The accusing skaters’ lawyer, Edward G. Williams, said his group was disappointed they won’t have their day in court, but added that they’ll now seek costs, expenses, and legal fees from U.S. Speedskating, after Williams claims the governing body was “sleeping at the switch” when the incidents occurred.

Triplets set for Olympic history in Rio (video)

Luik sisters
NBC News
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Estonian sisters Leila, Liina and Lily Luik are set to become what is believed to be the first set of triplets to compete in an Olympics, according to Games historians.

The Luiks, identical triplets born Oct. 14, 1985, remain the only Estonian women to meet the Olympic qualifying time for the marathon. And since a nation can send three qualified athletes to the Olympic marathon, all three are in line to go to Rio.

The Estonia athletics federation’s qualifying cutoff is Wednesday. It doesn’t believe any other Estonians will register an Olympic qualifying time by then.

With most marathons taking place on weekends, it appears the Luiks are safe, even though none has run faster than 2:37, and the Olympic medal winners will likely be running in the low-to-mid 2:20s.

MORE: Ethiopian legend not on Olympic marathon team

Paralympic champ Markus Rehm still hopes for Olympic spot

Markus Rehm
Getty Images
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COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — Paralympic long jump champion Markus Rehm is still hoping to compete at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro despite a scientific study’s inconclusive findings on whether his carbon-fiber prosthesis gives him an unfair advantage over able-bodied athletes.

Wolfgang Potthast of the German Sport University in Cologne said Monday that it was “difficult if not impossible” to determine whether the 27-year-old Rehm gets an advantage or not.

The study conducted by the German Sport University along with the University of Colorado and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tokyo found that athletes with a running-specific prosthesis have an impaired ability in the run up but a better technique for the long jump, leaving open the question of whether a prosthesis helps or hinders the athlete.

“The study could not identify any advantage through the prosthesis, and I think that for me is a good result,” said Rehm, who is hoping to compete both at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August and at the following Paralympics.

“I want to bring the Paralympic and Olympic sport closer together. To give both sides the chance to profit from this.”

Rehm is aiming to be the second athlete with a carbon-fiber prosthesis to compete at the Olympics and Paralympics after South African runner Oscar Pistorius in 2012.

To become eligible under a new rule introduced last year by the IAAF, Rehm has to prove that his prosthesis gives him no advantage over athletes with a similar disability or non-amputee long jumpers.

“I’ve taken the first step with the study, so now I await a step in return from the world body,” said Rehm, who lost his lower right leg in a wakeboarding accident when he was 14.

Rehm won the gold medal at 2012 London Paralympics and holds the world record in his competition class at 8.40 meters. Rehm also won the German national title in 2014 over non-amputee athletes, drawing a mixed reaction.

He was then prevented from competing for the German team at the European Championships, with track and field officials saying the prosthesis could give him an unfair catapult effect.

“Since the German championship in 2014 it has been an ordeal. It’s difficult for me to hear these charges [of having an advantage]. I don’t want to have any advantage. On the other hand, you feel you have to apologize to other athletes,” Rehm said. “There were times when I asked myself if it was worth it.”

Under current rules, Rehm is not eligible for the German team.

“There is no finding that has found an advantage,” Friedhelm Julius Beucher, president of the German National Paralympic Committee, said reacting to the study. “It’s not a question of fairness but a case of discrimination.”

MORE: 100 Olympic storylines as Rio Games approach