Athletes are accusing Olympic refs of bias after a number of controversial penalties aided Chinese language opponents


Ren Ziwei of China celebrates with the national flag of China after winning gold.

Ren Ziwei of China celebrates with the nationwide flag of China after successful gold.REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

  • Accusations of bias from officers on the Beijing Olympics are cropping up simply days into the video games.

  • In a number of brief observe pace skating races, controversial penalties have benefitted Chinese language athletes.

  • South Korea’s Kwak Yoon-gy questioned the outcomes “if it had been every other nation than China.”

Controversy is already shrouding the brief observe pace skating competitors in Beijing only a few days into this yr’s Winter Olympics.

A number of questionable penalties throughout a number of races within the sport have helped Chinese language athletes advance or earn medals on the video games. And now, some are sounding alarm bells that bias amongst Olympic officers could also be responsible.

ROC (right) and US (center) athletes react to receiving penalties after finishing ahead of the pack in the mixed team relay semifinal.

ROC (proper) and US (middle) athletes react to receiving penalties after ending forward of the pack within the combined group relay semifinal.REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

South Korea’s Kwak Yoon-gy spoke out after Saturday’s brief observe pace skating combined group relay, which noticed China survive a semifinal race solely after the disqualification of the Russian Olympic Committee and the USA — each of whom completed forward of the host nation. After a video overview, the ROC earned a penalty for “inflicting obstruction,” whereas the US was docked for “blocking.”

China later went on to win gold within the ultimate.

“Wanting on the means China gained the gold medal, I felt unhealthy that my youthful teammates needed to watch one thing like that,” Kwak stated through the Yonhap information company, per Reuters. “I assumed to myself, ‘Is that this actually what successful a gold medal is all about?’ Issues all simply felt very hole.”

Kexin Fan (left) and Chunyu Qu celebrate winning gold in the mixed team relay final.

China’s Kexin Fan (left) and Chunyu Qu rejoice successful gold within the combined group relay ultimate.Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports activities

Kwak went on to query whether or not the outcomes would have stood “if it had been every other nation than China in that state of affairs.”

“I felt that might have been us on the improper finish of all this,” he added. “I thought of how upsetting and irritating it could have been if we would been part of that.”

Two days later, one other controversial ending left many difficult the legitimacy of sure brief observe pace skating outcomes. The lads’s 1000-meter ultimate, which featured three athletes from China and two from Hungary, got here right down to the wire — after which a video overview.

Shaolin Sandor Liu of Hungary reacts after competing in the men's 1000-meter short track speed skating final.

Shaolin Sandor Liu of Hungary reacts after competing within the males’s 1000-meter brief observe pace skating ultimate.REUTERS/Toby Melville

A mid-race stoppage on account of a damaged blade embedded within the ice set the race on a weird path even earlier than its chaotic conclusion. However ultimately, the highest of the rostrum got here right down to Hungary’s Shaolin Sandor Liu and China’s Ren Ziwei.

The 2 had been neck-in-neck heading into the ultimate flip, and each prolonged their legs in an try to narrowly edge the opposite whereas approaching the end. Liu Shaolin tumbled to the ice and slid into the far wall because of this, however he appeared to cross the road mere milliseconds earlier than Ren.

That is when the overview got here into play. The Hungarian was assessed two penalties — one for a lane change that created contact with an opponent and one other for utilizing his left hand to hinder Ren on the ultimate flip. Although Ren retaliated through the use of each arms to seize Liu Shaolin and shove him right down to the ice, he was not issued any punishment.

Ren (right) grabs Shaolin Liu down the final stretch.

Ren (proper) grabs Liu Shaolin down the ultimate stretch.REUTERS/Toby Melville

The outcome was a yellow card — and disqualification — for Liu Shaolin, elevating Ren to gold and a Chinese language teammate to silver.

Here is the reason from the NBC broadcasters on the decision:

Ren’s win earned China its first-ever gold medal within the occasion. However the Hungarians had been visibly devastated by the result regardless of ending the race with a bronze medal.

The opposite Hungarian within the race — Liu Shaolin’s brother, Liu Shaoang — completed nicely behing the pack however wound up on the rostrum as a result of penalties. And through a post-race media availability, Liu Shaoang defined that he informed his brother he was “happy with him” and that “this stuff occur briefly observe.”

“He stated nothing.”

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