After controversy sparked by Taiwanese speedskater Huang Yu-ting (黃郁婷), the Sports Administration yesterday announced that athletes who are to compete in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, in September would be given a clear set of rules to follow regarding conduct.
Huang drew widespread criticism for actions and comments she made before and during the Beijing Winter Olympics, which ended yesterday.
Before the Games began, the two-time Olympian uploaded a video on Instagram showing her wearing the Chinese speedskating team’s uniform while training in Salt Lake City, Utah.
After the 1,500m speedskating race on Feb. 7, Huang told the Beijing Daily that she was touched by the enthusiasm of the audience at the race, as it “felt like I was competing at home.”
After the 1,000m race on Thursday last week, in which she placed 24th, Huang thanked her supporters on Facebook and said “the comment section is now open for haters and trolls.”
She posted the same remark on the Chinese microblogging Web site Sina Weibo, but added that “there are no trolls in the comment section” there.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Saturday asked the Ministry of Education and the Sports Administration to investigate Huang’s remarks and actions before and during the games to determine whether she should be punished.
Officials were also told to review existing rules and propose changes so that future national team athletes could have a clear code of conduct to follow when representing Taiwan abroad.
While Huang was Taiwan’s flagbearer at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, sports officials said on Friday that Lee Wen-yi (李玟儀), Taiwan’s first female Olympic Alpine skier, would carry the national flag at the closing ceremony.
Lan Kun-ten (藍坤田), the Sports Administration’s director of competitive athletics, said that the agency would soon gather representatives from the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee and Chinese Taipei Skating Union to discuss Huang’s case, as well as her subsidies.
The agency would determine a penalty in one to two weeks, he added.
“We will finish amending the Regulations Concerning Audition, Training and Registration of Sports Coaches and Athletes for National Representative Team of International Games (國家代表隊教練與選手選拔培訓及參賽處理辦法) before the Summer [FISU] World University Games in June, so athletes competing in the Asian Games in China’s Hangzhou city in September can follow the code of conduct,” Lan said.
Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee acting secretary-general Steven Chen (陳士魁) on Saturday said that Huang is to participate in two tournaments in the US next month.
A meeting to review the Winter Olympics is likely to be held in April, as Huang needs to quarantine upon returning to Taiwan, he said.
A number of issues should be settled first to determine a penalty for Huang, Chen said.
Neither the national team athlete manual nor the information session for athletes before the trip to Beijing outlines how athletes should conduct themselves or indicate a punishment for misconduct, he said.
National team athletes are only disqualified if they breach anti-doping regulations or other sports regulations, Chen said.
What athletes say on social media and what they wear during practice do not constitute disqualification under the current regulations, he said.
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