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Taiwan's premier demands probe into Olympic athlete who wore Chinese uniform

Premier Su describes Huang Yu-ting's comments, behavior as inappropriate

Huang Yu-ting preparing for the Beijing Olympics. (Facebook, Huang Yu-ting photo)

Huang Yu-ting preparing for the Beijing Olympics. (Facebook, Huang Yu-ting photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) has demanded an investigation and appropriate sanctions against Olympic speed skater Huang Yu-ting (黃郁婷), who on social media uploaded a photo in which she was wearing a Chinese uniform, reports said Saturday (Feb. 19).

Huang, 33, wore the clothes in a picture taken during training ahead of the Beijing Olympics, provoking a storm of protest. As the government’s Sports Administration urged athletes to be more cautious, Huang initially said that sports did not take nationality into account but later removed the picture. She failed to win any medals at the Winter Olympics, which are scheduled to close Sunday (Feb. 20).

Critics widely assailed her behavior and comments as inappropriate, as China has threatened Taiwan with military force and only allows it to take part in international sports events under the name “Chinese Taipei.”

In a statement on Saturday, the government emphasized it was using taxpayers’ money to fund Taiwanese athletes and their efforts to represent the country at high-profile athletic competitions, CNA reported. Therefore, the athletes should take care that their behavior and comments do not harm their country’s image, the government said.

The premier found Huang’s comments highly inappropriate, so he asked the Sports Administration to conduct an investigation and to enact a penalty if warranted by the probe’s conclusions. The sports body should also set up criteria for athletes to follow when competing internationally, a Cabinet spokesman said.