Wang Chunlu, the manager of China's national speed skating team was removed from her post on Monday due to criticism over a July 24 fight that broke out between her and Olympic champion Wang Meng as well as other teammates.
In an official notice posted by China's Winter Sports Administration on their website, administration officials said the decision to fire Wang Chunlu was not only related to the July incident. "It reflected a long-time neglect of team management," the announcement said.
On July 24, Wang Meng went out drinking and failed to return to the team hotel before the set curfew at the team's training camp in Qingdao City. A fight broke out when Wang Chunlu tried to talk to Wang Meng about the curfew violation. Wang Meng was later hospitalized for hand injures she suffered during the bout.
Wang Meng, who won three gold medals at the Vancouver Games last year, was expelled from the national team on August 4 and banned from international competitions. The speed skating team administration and leadership has also been criticized for the incident.
Wang Meng was also involved in another dispute earlier in June in Lijiang, Yunnan Province, where she and other fellow short track skaters brawled with local security guards while celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival at a local pub. After an investigation, local police said the athletes violated the city's regulations by making too much noise and singing after midnight. Wang Meng and other team members later offered to pay compensation for damages.
The two incidents have raised heated public discussion about standards for athletes' behavior and the mismanagement of China's sports teams.