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Accused assistant coach replaces U.S. speedskaters’ head coach

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Five men and five women will earn places on the team for the first four World Cup races of the season — in Calgary, Montreal, Nagoya, Japan, and Shanghai — based on points won in the qualifying races, but one other man and woman will be chosen by a selection committee that typically includes the coach.

Castellano said it’s not clear whether that will change, given the circumstances.

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She also said that all of the skaters who have remained in the national training program are comfortable with Yeo as the coach — though one journalist asked her why she was trying to "muzzle" the skaters, referring to an email in which Castellano urged the skaters not to speak with reporters.

"We are trying to allow the skaters the opportunity to focus on upcoming trials," she said. "I cannot underscore enough … how important these trials are. They are to name the World Cup team, and that’s a very big deal for our athletes. So we are trying to allow them the opportunity to make sure they’re able to focus on their performance and to sort of stay out of this media frenzy that’s ensued."

Castellano clarified that Jang is not an assistant coach with the national team, even though he was named in the complaints.

She said Jang, a former U.S. Speedskating developmental coach of the year who was fired as Russia’s head coach last year for what the Russians called "cruel" training methods, "was here on interim basis while somebody was on vacation."

He was around the skaters for less than 30 days, she said.

Williams said that "feeds into" his clients’ wide-ranging grievance with the federation, because it illustrates that executive director Mark Greenwald and the board of directors have ceded managerial authority to Chun and had no awareness or control over who was working with the athletes.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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