[Update 3-21-19 5:47 p.m. PST]
The ISU has released the following statment: “The incident was 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. The ISU maintains that this remains the appropriate approach.”
The International Skating Union (ISU), the global governing body of figure skating, are investigating claims that U.S. athlete Mariah Bell deliberately injured South Korean rival Lim Eun Soo during a rehearsal ahead of the world championships in Saitama, Japan on Wednesday.
Lim, 16, was skating on the edge of the rink after finishing her performance when Bell, 22, allegedly kicked and stabbed her left calf, according to her management All That Sports.
Lim, who sustained a cut, was forced to leave the rehearsal out of severe pain. She received emergency medical treatment.
“Lim Eun Soo was skating close to the edge as much as possible to not interfere with other skaters,” a spokesperson from All That Sports said, according to AllKPop. “It seems it was intentional, considering how Bell came from behind.”
Additionally, the management claimed that Bell had been “bullying Lim for months” ahead of the championships. They competed on the women’s short program.
“In the past, we believed we should just ignore it but it got severely bad as the championships approached … It wouldn’t have been this bad if she apologized for once,” a representative told SPOTV News.
Following the incident, the Korea Skating Union launched a formal complaint to the ISU, according to AFP. Officials acknowledged that Bell’s intent will be “difficult to prove.”
“At this stage we can’t conclude Bell caused the injury on purpose,” one said. “It is hard to tell just by watching the video footage of the incident.”
Lim and Bell train under the same coach, Rafael Arutyunyan, in Los Angeles, according to the Korea Herald. Despite her injury, Lim finished fifth place with a score of 72.91, while Bell followed with 71.26.