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Olympics: More S.Korean skaters set to switch nationalities like Ahn, says dad

Published on Mar 20, 2014 11:38 PM

SEOUL (REUTERS) - More Olympic athletes are set to ditch their South Korean passports and compete for rival nations unless the country's skating union (KSU) reforms, the father of Korea's greatest sporting defector has told Reuters.

Anger with the KSU has boiled among Koreans following Ahn Hyun Soo's cross-over to Russia in 2011 - and was only exacerbated when the 28-year-old won his fourth, fifth and sixth Olympic gold medals in Sochi under the name Viktor Ahn, and as a Russian competitor.

It was a painful episode for a proud country. Ahn had won his first three golds as a South Korean at the Turin Olympics in 2006, but then came quarrels and clashes, failure to qualify for the 2010 Games and the decision to quit Korea and become a Russian citizen.

It was a huge step, but one others may soon take, his father told Reuters, claiming that more are ready to follow his son out the door and into the arms of other nations unless the Seoul-based skating union sorts itself out.

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