ISU says ‘no evidence’ US skater Mariah Bell deliberately slashed Korean rival
The World Figure Skating Championships in Japan was rocked by claims that Bell, 22, had sought to intentionally slash training partner Lim, 16, when the pair collided during a practice session.
Lim was forced to receive emergency treatment from medical staff after receiving a gash to her leg, but later competed in the women’s short program, where she finished fifth, one place ahead of Bell.
Lim's management agency All That Sports claimed that Bell had come up from behind and suddenly kicked and stabbed her with her skate blade.
The agency also claimed that Bell had bullied Lim during preparation for the event as both athletes have been training in Los Angeles under the same coach, Rafael Arutyunyan.
An ISU investigation has found no evidence of foul play, however.
"The incident was verbally reported to the ISU by the Korean Team Leader however no formal complaint has been received,” it said in a statement on Thursday.
“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."
Following the claims, the pair’s coach, Arutyunyan, said Bell would not have been capable of such a vindictive act.
“There has never been any confrontation between them at training sessions. And by the way, look at Mariah! Do you think this girl could offend anybody? I can’t even imagine who decided to write such kind of things about her,” he said.Also on rt.com ‘Look at her, could she ever hurt anyone?’ Coach defends US skater accused of slashing rival
The pair are now expected to line up in the women’s free program on Friday, with Russia’s Alina Zagitova leading the way after a superb short program performance.