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Champion Wang involved in fracas

By Lei Lei | China Daily | Updated: 2011-07-29 08:02

SHANGHAI - China's winter sports authority has described a fight within the national short track speed skating team, which involved four-time Winter Olympic champion Wang Meng, as an "evil-doing" affair and claimed responsibility for not managing the team well on Thursday.

"On the night of July 24, Wang and some other athletes didn't come back to the training camp on time and the team manager criticized them seriously. After that, some of the athletes, including Wang, lost their tempers; the team manager was hit and some of the facilities in the camp were broken," China's Winter Sports Administration said in a statement.

"During the fighting, Wang's hands were broken and they have already been treated."

Champion Wang involved in fracas

As disclosed by the media on Wednesday, an inner-team fight broke out on Sunday night at the training camp in Qingdao after several members broke a 10 pm curfew that had been imposed after a previous incident in June in which team members clashed with police in Lijiang, Yunnan province.

Team manager Wang Chunlu was said to have been hit by athletes and several other people involved with the squad.

Top officials from the administration went to Qingdao immediately after the incident for an investigation.

"The affair has damaged the image of the national short track speed skating team and China's winter sports athletes, which means there is something wrong with the administration of the team and we didn't manage the team strictly," the authority's statement said.

"We should take full responsibility for it."

The administration also apologized to the public, saying a thorough investigation was underway and some people would be punished severely.

Wang is China's most decorated Winter Olympic athlete. She won three gold medals at the Vancouver Games last year and one gold, a silver and a bronze at the Turin Winter Games in 2006.

Following the incident, the team's two-month summer training camp was cut short and the team has returned to Beijing.

China Daily

(China Daily 07/29/2011 page24)

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