A South Korean-born Chinese Olympic skating champion, who has been banned from the South Korean national team due to sexual harassment, might not be able to represent China during the upcoming Winter Olympics in February 2022.
Under a new flag: Short track speed skating champion Lim Hyo-jun obtained Chinese citizenship to compete for China in 2022. However, a rule established by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) might throw a wrench in his plans, Arirang reports.
- Back in 2018, the 24-year-old athlete won gold in the 1500m and bronze in the 500m at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
- After receiving his new passport, Lim traveled to China on Friday. He planned on joining China’s national team after undergoing standard COVID-19 quarantine procedures.
- However, an IOC rule states that an athlete who wants to represent another country during the Olympics must wait three years after their last tournament to compete again.
- Since Lim competed for Korea during the World Figure Skating Championships in March 2019, the earliest he would be able to represent China is March 2022.
- Lim’s agency Brion noted that the athlete’s decision to become a naturalized Chinese citizen and skate for China was based on what’s best for his career, according to Yonhap News.
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Harassment case: Lim was convicted of sexual harassment last year after pulling down another male athlete’s pants in front of teammates back in 2019.
- While he was able to overturn the verdict after an appeal, it is up to the South Korean Supreme Court to make a final decision, according to Channel News Asia.
- In 2019, Lim was suspended from the Korea Skating Union for a year. If the supreme court overturns the appellate court’s decision, Lim will no longer be able to compete during the 2022 Winter Olympics.
- Brion claims that in the last two years, Lim hasn’t been able to train anywhere in South Korea.
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