Olympics-South Korea drops plan to appeal short track DQs at CAS

By Angie Teo

BEIJING, Feb 20 (Reuters) – South Korea’s Olympic Committee (KSOC) said on Sunday it has dropped plans to file an appeal with sport’s highest court over the disqualification of two short track speed skaters at the Beijing Games, igaming malta which had triggered a furore back home.

Hwang Dae-heon and Lee June-seo were disqualified from the men’s 1,000 metres semi-finals on Feb.7 for what was ruled as an “illegal late pass” and a lane change, respectively, both causing contact with another skater.

The KSOC had said it would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the International Olympic Committee over what it called an unfair decision.

“The final decision, the conclusion, after discussed with the athletes and coaches is that, since there will be a world championship next year we wonder is it truly worth doing it,” KSOC President Lee Kee-heung told a news conference.

“Especially it wasn’t a final, it was a semi-final, there was no certainty that we could had won, so after discussing with the legal team we decided not to file it.”

Many South Koreans had questioned the disqualifications, taking to social media to complain that referees had penalised their skaters to boost China’s chances of winning medals on home ice.

After Hwang and Lee were disqualified from their semi-finals, Chinese skaters advanced to the final and eventually secured gold and silver in the event.(Additional reporting by An Sunghyuk; Editing by Peter Rutherford )