- American skater Mariah Bell, 22, was accused of attempting to deliberately injure her rival, South Korean skater Lim Eun-soo, 16, in warm ups ahead of the world championships in Japan on Wednesday.
- Lim was left with a cut on her leg after Bell glided past her with her leg stretched out.
- The International Skating Union said in a statement that there is “no evidence” that Bell purposefully injured Lim.
- Lim returned to the ice and finished fifth in the women’s short program. Bell placed sixth.
A US figure skater has been cleared after being accused of slashing her South Korean rival with a skate during practice for the world championships.
Management for South Korean skater Lim Eun-soo, 16, accused American skater Mariah Bell, 22, of attempting to deliberately injure her rival during warm ups in Saitama, Japan, on Wednesday.
Video footage from warm ups seen by the BBC shows Bell approaching Lim from behind and gliding past her with her leg stretched out. Lim was then seen grasping her leg and grimacing.
Lim had to be treated by medical staff at the ice rink, the Straits Times reported.
She did, however, return to the ice and finished fifth in the women’s short program. Bell placed sixth in the competition.
The International Skating Union said in a statement following the incident that there was “no evidence” that Bell deliberately tried to injure Lim.
“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 said on Thursday. “The ISU met with delegates from both USA and Korea and urged both parties to find an amicable solution.”
Lim’s management company, All That Sports, disputed the ISU’s decision in a statement to the Straits Times.
“It seems it was intentional, considering how Bell came from behind,” All That Sports said.
The management company said Bell had bullied Lim for months before the world championships, and that Lim was skating close to the edge of the rink “so as to not interfere with other skaters.”
Both skaters train in Los Angeles under coach Rafael Arutyunyan and warmed up in the same group on Friday.
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