Saturday, February 23, 2002
Ohno's gold upheld by arbitration panel
SALT LAKE CITY -- Apolo Anton Ohno can keep his first
Olympic gold medal.
An arbitration panel early Saturday dismissed a South Korean
protest that would have stripped the American short-track
speedskating star of the gold in the men's 1,500-meter race and
given it to Kim Dong-sung.
Kim was disqualified minutes after crossing the finish line
first, when the race judge ruled he had interfered with Ohno when
the U.S. star tried to pass on the final lap.
But in a 2½-hour session before the Court of Arbitration for
Sport, the U.S. Olympic Committee successfully argued that the
South Koreans "had no basis for alleging that the field-of-play
decision was arbitrary or made in bad faith."
There was no immediate reaction from the South Koreans.
Ohno's victory was at the heart of a threat by the South Korean
Olympic Committee to "use all measures necessary to rectify the
misjudgment," including a possible boycott of the closing
The boycott threat was withdrawn Friday, when IOC president
Jacques Rogge met with the South Korean delegation.
"The Koreans very clearly explained that they are fighting for
their position in front of the CAS is one thing, but in the Olympic
spirit, being there participating in the closing ceremony, of
course, is another thing," IOC director general Francois Carrard
said. "We are confident for the closing ceremony."
Kim Un-yong, an IOC member from South Korea, said he did not
want competition results "reversed in a conference room. ... We
don't want continuous protest and reversal. But we want strong,
neutral judging and fair play in the Olympics."