The “hard” deadline is Oct. 19 – the start of the first of three fall World Cups.
All the complainants already have left the national team – called the National Racing Project – to join the FAST program. Both groups train at the 2002 Olympic Oval in Kearns, Utah.
As I noted last week, the tribulations could be long-lasting divisiveness, as skaters who have taken strong stands on opposite sides of the issue likely will be racing together both this season and next – the Olympic year.
Smith, who won five of eight races and the overall title in a runaway at the trials, told the Salt Lake Tribune she would be upset if Chun and Yeo were forced to leave. Simon, who filed a police complaint against Chun, is in the opposite situation.
Resolving the status of the coaches hardly will end US Speedskating’s problems. The federation is $350,000 in debt and must answer a grievance in which 19 athletes charged it with various forms of mismanagement, including tax fraud.
Stephen Colbert helped bail the federation out of a financial mess before the 2010 Olympics.
This time, it may need someone to post bail.