Abusive coaches must be banned from Games, says former skater Yu

FILE PHOTO: Shuran Yu of Singapore performs her routine during the Ladies' Short Program at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki, Finland March 29, 2017. LEHTIKUVA/Markku Ulander via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Former Singapore figure skater Jessica Shuran Yu has called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to do more to stop the culture of abuse in sport, and to ban abusive coaches from the Olympic Games.

Yu, who was born and raised in China, last month went public with the abuse she and others had suffered while training in that country.

Athletes in Britain, New Zealand and France have also complained about abuse and Yu, 20, says the IOC needs to step in and help protect vulnerable athletes.

"The IOC needs to do more, especially when they are the ones profiting the most from what athletes around the world endure," Yu, who won gold in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, told the South China Morning Post.

"Not every athlete who's abused is an Olympian. However, we've all dreamed of going to the Olympics – it's what we falsely believed we needed to endure the abuse for.

"The IOC has the power to make a change in this broken system. If they cared about us athletes as people and not just the profit, they would adopt a strict no tolerance mindset towards abuse."

Yu said Singapore, the country she competed for internationally, was committed to bringing about real change but questioned whether China would do the same.

"A lot of different things would have to happen in order to bring about effective change within China," she added.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

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