BY DUNCAN MACKAY.
Hungarian Olympic short track gold medallist Csaba Burján has been banned from the sport for a year after he was ruled to have made offensive comments about China on social media.
The 25-year-old, a member of Hungary’s 5000 metres relay team that won the gold medal at Pyeongchang 2018, was suspended following an investigation by the Hungarian National Skating Federation’s (MOKSZ) Ethics and Disciplinary Committee.
Burján posted a picture on Instagram following his arrival at Shanghai Airport on December 3 for an International Skating Union Short Track World Cup event in the city.
It showed a long line of visitors waiting to enter the country with the caption, “F*ckin China”.
The original post quickly disappeared from the page, and Burján apologised but was still ordered home from China by the MOKSZ.
Chinese head coach of the Hungarian team, Zhang Jing, resigned from her position when she saw the post.
Zhang told Chinese television company CGTN that she “can’t tolerate that a Hungarian speed skater, who is also an Olympic champion, is making racist comments about China”.
Zhang’s resignation was refused, however, and she agreed to stay after the MOKSZ decided to take disciplinary action against Burján.
“The Board found that the competitor had committed a disciplinary and ethical violation by his post published on social media on December 3,” a statement published on the MOKSZ’s website said.
Burján is now “banned from participating in the short track speed skating team, national team training and training camps, and competitions on the MOKSZ racing calendar for a period of one year”.
Burján has also apologised to Zhang. He has 15 days to appeal the decision.