Damning photos emerge as China caught in fresh Winter Olympics furore

Ren Ziwei, pictured here tangling with Liu Shaolin Sandor in the 100m speed skating final at the Winter Olympics.
Ren Ziwei tangled with Liu Shaolin Sandor in the 100m speed skating final at the Winter Olympics. Image: Getty

South Korea has launched an extraordinary complaint with the International Skating Union and International Olympic Committee amid claims of 'bias' from officials towards Chinese athletes at the Winter Olympics.

South Korea was left seething over the disqualifications of short track speed-skaters Hwang Daeheon and Lee Juneseo in the semi-finals of the men's 1000 metres on Monday night.

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Immediately after the semi-finals, the Koreans filed a protest with the referee asking for the reason why Hwang and Lee were DQ'd. The complaint was then filed to the ISU.

Yoon Hong Geun, chef de mission for South Korea, said an appeal also will be filed with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“The decision on the field of play will not be altered according to the sport’s rules,” said Choi Yong Koo, support team leader for South Korea.

“We are very clear on that, but are instead asking that such unfair penalties will be prevented from happening again.

"We are planning to protest more fiercely.”

Yoon said: “We hope that such things will never ever happen again in the future."

Choi noted that in the video replay of the 1000m A final, Ren Ziwei of China appeared to have his hands on the leg of Liu Shaolin Sandor of Hungary, who crossed the finish line first, fell and spun into the pads.

However Liu was penalised twice and earned a yellow card, while Ren got off scot-free and was elevated to the gold medal.

“We can’t understand why the Hungarian athlete got a penalty,” Choi said.

"The ISU has been refining the judgment system every year, but the right to make the final decision goes to the chief referee.

"We have to rely on his fair judgement.”

Ren Ziwei, pictured here with his gold medal at the Winter Olympics.
Ren Ziwei (centre) celebrates with his gold medal at the Winter Olympics. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Uproar over perceived 'bias' towards Chinese skaters

South Korea coach Lee So Hee added: "As you can see in the video replay, our athletes didn’t touch other athletes but still got many penalties.”

Ren defended his actions, saying: “It was really intense. There were collisions. It was a tough race.

“We are short track skaters. It happens. We all fight for gold, never for less than that.”

Speaking in commentary for Channel 7, Aussie icon Steven Bradbury was gobsmacked about the number of calls going China's way.

“Unbelievable. All three Chinese (in the final) - really having the gift of short track,” he said.

“Nothing could be more favourable for the Chinese team with the judges than what’s happened tonight here in Beijing.”

One online user called the officiating “horrible”, adding: “It’s only making decisions that are extremely in favour of China.”

A newspaper in Seoul also reportedly published an article with the headline: “Just let China take all the medals.”

with agencies

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