Speed skating: Chinese coach resigns over Hungarian speed skater’s China comment

FILE PHOTO: Short Track Speed Skating Events – Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Men’s 5000m Relay Final – Gangneung Ice Arena – Gangneung, South Korea – February 22, 2018 – Gold medallist Csaba Burjan of Hungary reacts. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – The Chinese head coach of Hungary’s short-track speed skating team has offered her resignation over an offensive comment made by Hungarian Olympic champion Csaba Burjan about China, the Hungarian National Skating Federation said.

The Federation said in a statement on its website that it did not accept the resignation of Lina Zhang Jing and that it was in talks with her about her future. It apologized for what it called Burjan’s “insulting behavior to China” and said Burjan had also apologized to Zhang.

“The Council of the Hungarian National Skating Federation apologizes for the attitude, which is completely unacceptable from a national athlete. The resignation of the Head Coach was not accepted, the Council began negotiations with her,” the Federation said here

The Federation did not say what the insulting behavior had entailed, and could not immediately be reached by phone.

Hungarian media reported that after arriving at a busy Shanghai airport for a World Cup series event at the weekend, Burjan had cursed China on his Instagram social media account while standing in the queue, saying “F*ckin China”. His post was later deleted.

Later Burjan, whose Instagram account is private, posted another message picked up by the online edition of Hungary’s main sports daily Nemzeti Sport, saying: “Deeply sorry for yesterday’s post. Was tired after a long trip didn’t mean it.”

Burjan declined comment via his representive, and declined to confirm what the offensive comment was.

Burjan was a member of the Hungarian team that won a gold medal in the men’s 5,000-metre relay at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the first ever for Hungary, with Zhang as their coach.

He was not allowed to participate in the Shanghai event and the Federation said it had started a disciplinary proceeding against him.

Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Gareth Jones

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