Team manager leaves speed skating squad after brawl

Updated: 2011-08-16 10:58


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BEIJING - Chinese skating team manager Wang Chunlu, a former Olympic bronze medallist, has been transferred from the position after an internal brawl with four-time Winter Olympic champion Wang Meng, China's General Administration of Sport announced on Monday.

"We have been critical of senior officials from the winter sports administration center and team manager Wang Chunlu (for their inappropriate methods and mistakes in team management)," read a statement released by the winter sports administration center. "Wang Chunlu has been transferred from her position in the national team."

Team manager leaves speed skating squad after brawl

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Winter Olympic champion Wang Meng expelled from Chinese national team [Full story]

Earlier this month, Wang Meng was expelled from the Chinese national short track speed skating team and had been banned from international and national competitions for a drunken brawl with Wang Chunlu, which greatly mired the image of the team, at a training camp based in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao on July 24.

The most renowned winter Olympic athlete of China punched Wang Chunlu after being blamed for not returning on time in a night out with five teammates.

Male speed skater Liu Xianwei, who was alleged to have stirred things up, was also ruled out of national team. The argument between Wang Meng and Wang Chunlu turned out to cause physical injury.

"After the accident, we realized that there were a lot of problems in the management of the team and senior officials from the winter sports administration center. The team manager is responsible for that. We will try to make amendment in team management."

Well known for bad temper, Wang Meng was sent to a hospital to get stitched up the cuts inflicted from smashing furniture in her dormitory following the brawl. It was said Wang had been visibly drunk at the time of the incident.

The team's two-month summer training had to be cut short and all the athletes returned to Beijing earlier than scheduled. Since then, Wang Chunlu had been on a sick leave approved by administration center.

It is not rare to see Wang Meng land herself in trouble. She was expelled from the national team for six months in 2007 for doubting her coach's tactics at the Asian Winter Games.

Early June this year, Wang Meng hit the headline after she and her teammates clashed with security guards who accused them of making too much noise on street late night in a tour city of Lijiang in Yunan province.

Wang Meng is China's most prolific winter Olympic athlete, winning three gold medals at the Vancouver Games last year and one gold, one silver and one bronze in Turin in 2006.

Last year, Wang Meng beat China's tennis player Li Na, winner of this year's French open, to lift the title of China's "female athlete of the year".

Wang Chunlu was appointed as the team manager after she retired from a successful short track speed skating career, which sees her to win three world championship golds and a 2002 Olympic bronze medal.


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