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From both sides of scandal, speedskaters tense as races begin in Kearns
Speedskating » Controversy is “making enemies of friends” during championships.


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• Two-time Olympic medalist Katherine Reutter, who is not competing this weekend while she recovers from double-hip surgery, was the athlete whom Chun allegedly called a "fat cow." Reutter has not publicly taken sides for or against Chun.

The federation is awaiting the results of an investigation being conducted by the international law firm White & Case, and an arbitration hearing is set for Oct. 8 in Salt Lake City if the case isn’t resolved by then.

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U.S. Short-Track Championships

Utah Olympic Oval, Kearns, Thursday- Sunday

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After racing on Thursday, skaters who have backed the coach generally played down the conflict within their ranks. Both Olympians Lana Gehring and Kimberly Derrick, for example, said they felt most skaters were focused on the races.

"I haven’t let it bother me," Derrick said. "I know what I’m here for, and it’s not going to change no matter what the outcome is."

The skaters who have complained about Chun, however, tended to be more outspoken.

Malone, for example, acknowledged that the scandal is going to make the sport suffer in the short term. He said skaters gave Chun the chance to change his behavior before they formally complained, but he ignored them.

Malone also hinted darkly that there is more to be revealed if U.S. Speedskating doesn’t act and the case goes to arbitration.

"The guy’s got so many more skeletons in his closet than what are out there right now," he said. "And we don’t want it to go any further. We don’t want to ruin anybody else’s career. We don’t want anything bad to happen. We just want what’s right to happen. We deserve a fair and safe environment to be in, and one with a federation that cares more about the safety of its skaters than the medal count. That’s what we’re pushing for."

mcl@sltrib.com


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Twitter: @MCLTribune



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