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IOC urges 'respect' after Canadian speed skater abused online

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    Agence France-Presse

Pyeongchang, South Korea | Wed, February 14, 2018 | 09:50 pm
 IOC urges 'respect' after Canadian speed skater abused online (left-right) Britain's Elise Christie, Canada's Kim Boutin and China's Qu Chunyu compete in the women's 500m short track speed skating semi-final event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 13, 2018. (Agence France -Presse/Mladen Antonov)

Olympics organisers called for "respect" on Wednesday after Canadian short-track speed skater Kim Boutin was abused online by Korean fans.

Boutin, 23, put her Twitter account into "protected" mode after a flood of abusive messages following the women's 500m race, in which South Korea's Choi Min-jeong was disqualified.

Boutin's critics said she should have been disqualified instead of Choi, South Korea's leading medal hope, after they came together mid-race.

"Clearly we would ask everyone to respect the athletes and their performances and support the great work they've done and support the Olympic spirit," said International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams. 

"These Olympics are about bringing different countries together to compete in a spirit of friendship."

Team Canada said they had referred the matter to their security staff and Canadian police.

"The health, safety and security of all our team members is our top priority and as such we are working closely with Speed Skating Canada, our security personnel and the (Canadian police)," a statement said.

Choi, 19, finished a narrow second to Italy's Arianna Fontana before she was disqualified for interference, while Boutin took bronze.

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