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Posted: Tuesday September 18, 2012 8:09PM ; Updated: Tuesday September 18, 2012 8:09PM

Skaters defend accused coach

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Lana Gehring
Lana Gehring says she doesn't believe charges leveled against coaches Jae Su Chun and Jun Hyung Yeo.
Mathieu Belanger/Reuters

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Olympic bronze medalist Lana Gehring, U.S. teammate Jessica Smith and seven other skaters say abuse allegations against their speedskating coach are "baseless" and a "false attack on his character."

Gehring and Smith issued a statement Tuesday saying they don't believe allegations leveled against short track coach Jae Su Chun or assistant Jun Hyung Yeo. Both say they never have seen the behavior described in a complaint to the U.S. Olympic Committee.

They acknowledge Chun pushes hard but say he cares deeply about his skaters. Gehring and Smith say they have faith Chun would take them to the top of the podium in Sochi in 2014.

U.S. Speedskating announced Monday that Chun was being placed on administrative leave and Yeo in charge while an independent law firm investigates.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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