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Figure skater Kim Yu-na says coach lied about their separation
SEOUL, Aug. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na on Wednesday accused her former coach Brian Orser of lying about circumstances surrounding their separation, adding new salvo to the ongoing verbal war between the two sides one day after they ended their four-year ties.

   "I could no longer bear watching this," Kim wrote on her personal Web site. "I, Brian Orser, and everyone else involved in this matter know the truth." File photo
On Tuesday, AT Sports, the Seoul-based management company that represents Kim, said in a press release that Orser said Monday he would no longer coach Kim and that the agency accepted his decision.

   Earlier in the day, however, IMG, Orser's agency, said in its press release that Kim's mother, Park Mee-hee, and AT Sports informed Orser on Aug. 2 that "he would no longer be retained to coach Kim" and that no reason had been provided.

   Orser told Yonhap News Agency that he was "surprised" when AT Sports gave him the news and that he feels Park, not Kim, appears to have made the call for the skater. Orser was quoted as saying in other news reports that he doesn't know "how much (Kim) was involved in these discussions" over the future of their working relationship.

   Kim rejected Orser's claims as "untruthful."

   "An athlete and a coach can go separate ways, and there may always be different reasons," Kim wrote. "But frankly, I am disappointed and upset that (Orser) had to let the world know about our move through media, and things that should have stayed with us got out through untruthful tales."

   Earlier Wednesday, Kim posted a message on her Twitter account, "Would you please stop to tell a lie, B? I know exactly what's going on now and this is what I've DECIDED." The message was later deleted.

   On her personal Web site, Kim also denied that her mother was behind the decision to cut ties with Orser.

   "I get to have the final say on whether to part with (the coach)," she wrote. "My mom and I discussed this and made our decision carefully. I am not a kid anymore and neither is my mom."

   Orser has been coaching Kim since 2006. Under his tutelage, Kim captured the gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics in record-setting fashion, and also won a world championship and three Grand Prix Final titles.

   Kim holds the record for the highest points in the short program (78.50), free skating (150.06) and overall points (228.56) under the current judging system. All of the marks were set in Vancouver.

   Kim said she wasn't always happy with Orser during the four years. On Tuesday, AT Sports said Kim and Orser had been on "awkward" terms since May, after Orser received an offer to coach Japanese skater Mao Asada, Kim's biggest rival.

   Kim said Wednesday that wasn't the only reason for their separation but she didn't elaborate.

   "Do you really believe that I've been completely happy training for those four years, just as it seems to the outside world?" Kim wrote. "I don't want to tell you all about what happened, and I don't have to. It's all between us."

   Kim lamented that the situation is already out of control, and said, "I can't stand watching innocent people get criticized by those who believe lies."

   "This could have ended more amicably," she wrote. "I want this over now. I swear to God we were prudent and never did anything rude to anyone."

   jeeho@yna.co.kr
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