South Korean short track speed skater Noh Jin-kyu was ruled out of the Sochi Olympics last week due to a broken elbow.
Upon further inspection, Noh actually had a five-inch malignant tumor in his shoulder. He underwent surgery to remove the cancerous tumor that could threaten his career and will undergo chemotherapy in two weeks, according to reports.
“We also found out about the tumor through the media reports and were taken aback,” a Korea Skating Union official told Reuters. “He bumped into a Canadian skater at the World Cup last September and fractured his left shoulder … the exact same spot where he had a tumor.
“So we thought it was something due to the fracture that was sticking out of his uniform, never a 13-centimeter-long malignant tumor.”
Noh, 21, won the overall World Championship in 2011 and is the 1500m world record holder.
2006 and 2010 Olympian Lee Ho-Suk will reportedly replace Noh on the Olympic Team and become the first three-time Olympic men’s short track speed skater for the decorated nation.
Lee is 27. South Korea, known for incredible turnover in short track, has not entered an Olympic skater older than 24 since 1994, according to sports-reference.com.