An American figure skater has been accused of deliberately injuring a South Korean skater during practice ahead of the International Skating Union World Figure Skating Championships in Japan, but the skating union has said there was "no evidence" it was intentional.
According to Yonhap, South Korean sports agency All That Sports alleged that Bell "struck Lim's leg with her skate" before the ladies' short program, cutting Lim's calf. Yonhap reported that Lim had the cut taped before she performed.
An All That Sports official said they believed Bell hitting Lim was "premeditated" because Lim was skating near the walls and Bell "came from behind" when she cut her, Yonhap reported.
U.S. Figure Skating said in a statement Friday local time the two skaters had met and there were no hard feelings.
“The athletes met this morning and good luck wishes were exchanged," the statement said. "Mariah is looking forward to competing tonight in the ladies free skate.”
The official also claimed Bell "had been bullying Lim for months and launched a verbal attack" on her, according to Yonhap. The skaters have the same coach, Rafael Arutunian, per their bios.
U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon, who choreographed Bell's routine, disputed the report of bullying in an interview with ABC News and in a prepared statement.
"I have worked with Mariah this past year on her choreography and have trained with her for several years," Rippon said. "Both Mariah and Eun-soo’s coach, Rafeal [Arutyunyan], was also my coach. I can say that bullying was never tolerated in any of our training sessions nor would Rafael allow it to happen during his watch."
ISU, which said the incident was "verbally reported" by the Korean team leader, disputed that the attack was intentional.
"Based on the evidence at hand at this point in time, which includes a video, there is no evidence that Ms. Bell intended any harm to Ms. Lim," ISU said in a statement.
Lim finished in fifth place and Bell finished in sixth in the ladies' short program.