US Figure Skater Accused of Intentionally Slashing Korean Rival With Skate Blade


UPDATED WITH MORE RECENT INFORMATION

The agency representing 16-year-old South Korean figure skater Lim Eun-Soo has publicly accused U.S. skater Mariah Bell, 22, of intentionally slashing Eun-Soo with her skate blade during practice at the World Championships in Japan on Wednesday.

Eun-Soo suffered a cut to her left calf but was bandaged and went on to compete, achieving a personal best score.

A representative of Eun-Soo's agency said: “Lim was slowly skating on the edge of the rink after completing her turn. Mariah Bell, who was scheduled to rehearse after Lim, suddenly kicked and stabbed Lim’s calf with her skate blades.

“Mariah Bell didn’t apologize to Lim Eun-soo after the incident and instead continued to rehearse for her routine. We believe this is not a minor situation that can happen in an official rehearsal.”

The South Korean Skating Union has not lodged a formal complaint, saying “At this stage, we can’t conclude Bell caused the injury on purpose. It is hard to tell just by watching the video footage of the incident.” They also said that the US Skating Federation has apologized for the incident.

Bell and Eun-Soo train together in Los Angeles under coach Rafael Arutyunyan, and Eun-Soo's agency claim that Bell has been bullying Eun-Soo for months, even targeting her in a verbal tirade just before the World Championships. Arutyunyan gave an interview to a Russian publication in which he said the incident was unintentional.

The International Skating Union said that the incident has been “verbally reported to the ISU by the Korean Team Leader, however no formal complaint has been received. Based on the evidence at hand at this point in time, which includes a video, there is no evidence that Ms. Bell intended any harm to Ms. Lim. The ISU met with delegates from both USA and Korea and urged both parties to find an amicable solution."

Lim Eun-Soo skating the short program later that day with a bandage on her calf:


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