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Group of Chinese Table Tennis Players Dropped out of Competition to Protest Removal of their Chief Coach

Radio Free Asia reported that, on Friday June 23, following a change in the internal coaching lineup when Liu Guoliang was removed as the chief coach of the Chinese national table tennis team, several male table tennis players suddenly announced that they decided to drop out of the 2017 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour Platinum China Open which was held in Chengdu China from June 22-25. They cited that “they have no desire to compete because they missed their Coach, Liu Guoliang.” It was reported that the athletes were also banned from using any social media one hour prior to the announcement of the coaching line up. These athletes faced harsh criticism from the General Administration of Sports. Nevertheless, the news spread immediately over the social media. Even though the official sports channel CCTV5 closed its online commentary posting capability, by Friday evening, the news had been forwarded close to 20,000 times. Many people questioned why Liu was taken down from the Chief Coach post and some people directly criticized the Administration of Sports for its bureaucracy and letting “an amateur manage an expert”.

Source: Radio Free Asia, June 24, 2017