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Waived skating manager stays as official of China's sport authorities

(Xinhua)

10:07, August 17, 2011

BEIJING, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Wang Chunlu, who just stepped down late on Monday as China's short track speed skating team manager, has been confirmed Tuesday by authorities to stay as an official of the ruling body.

"Wang will take a post at one of the executive departments of our winter sports administrative center, assisting the director in operating training and competitions," the center's spokesman Jiang Shicai told Sports.cn during an interview via phone.

"The date when the authorities officially introduce Wang to the new job, however, has not set," he added.

According to Jiang, Liu Hao, deputy director of the short track department, will take care of the national team till a new team manager is named after Wang's laid off.

A former Olympic bronze medallist, Wang Chunlu has been transferred from the manager position after an internal brawl with four-time Winter Olympic champion Wang Meng at a training camp based in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao on July 24.

Wang Chunlu, who was appointed as the team manager after she retired from a successful short track speed skating career, winning three world championship golds and a 2002 Olympic bronze medal, read an open letter earlier on Tuesday to apologize for her part of the brawl.

"Our short track national team was once a solid unity, but the recent incident between me and Wang Meng greatly mired the image of the team. I feel deeply sorry to fans and our upper authorities," said Wang in the statement.

Earlier this month, Wang Meng was expelled from the Chinese national short track team and had been banned from international and national competitions for a drunken brawl with Wang Chunlu.

The most renowned winter Olympic athlete of China punched Wang Chunlu after being blamed for not returning on time in a night out with five teammates.

Male speed skater Liu Xianwei, who's also been ruled out of the national team, was alleged to have stirred things up, as the argument between Wang Meng and Wang Chunlu turned out to cause physical injury.

"After the accident, we realized that there were a lot of problems in the management of the team and senior officials from the winter sports administration center. The team manager is responsible for that. We will try to make amendment in team management," said a statement released Monday as the winter sports center announced to transfer Wang Chunlu from the manager post.

Wang Meng, famed for her bad temper, is China's most prolific winter Olympic athlete, winning three gold medals at the Vancouver Games last year and one gold, one silver and one bronze in Turin 2006.

Last year, Wang Meng beat China's tennis player Li Na, winner of this year's French open, to lift the title of China's "female athlete of the year".

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