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Much ado about paralyzed gymanst's law suit

05-06-2011 10:10 BJT

BEIJING - Paralyzed former Chinese gymnast Sang Lan was in a swirl of controversy after filing a $1.8 billion lawsuit against the former AOL Time Warner Inc media and entertainment company and the US Gymnastics Federation.

The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan last Thursday by her lawyers, saying the 1998 Goodwill Games organizer Time Warner and the US Federation and others broke promises to care for her afterwards after she suffered a bad injury and was left paralyzed from the chest down since then.

Sang, then 17, landed on her head during a warm-up, fractured and dislocated two vertebrae and injured her spinal cord.

What put Sang in a controversy is that her defendants included two Chinese Americans who used to be Sang's legal guardians during her treatment and rehabilitation in the United States.

Sang's lawyer Hai Ming told the Beijing News on Thursday that the two people, then appointed by the Chinese Gymnastcis Association as Sang's legal guardians, "have been in control of her medical treatments and connections with American doctors. The two people used Sang's name and image in their business without permission. And they also invaded Sang's privacy."

Whereas in previous reports, the story between Sang and the couple was portraited as one of daught and parents.

According to the report titled "It is the most miraculous fate that put Sang Lan and Xie Xiaohong together" published on in 2007, Xie moved Sang to her own house to help the girl recover before she paid for Sang's later rehabilitation expense back in China.

The report also mentioned that Xie was the main sponsor of the Chinese gymnast team and named vice president of the Chinese Gymnastics Association a few years ago.

Xie's husband Liu said in his blog on Monday that they "never did one single thing to go against Sang" and everything they did "can be put to test before the law and time."

Since the lawsuit was filed, many have been in favor of Sang's action as some accused Sang of "ungrateful of the couple's help".

"I can not understand Sang's behavior, suing her benefactors," said a netuser Kongkuyoulan.

Another netuser from Guangdong rejected the point.

"I support Sang Lan because to protect one's own rights and to be grateful are totally different," the netuser said.

Yet another one believed there was something behind the scenes.H "Since she filed a lawsuit against the guardians, she must have her reasons. If they don't have any problem, why did Sang bother to sue them?" asked another netuser with an ID Harmonized Heart and Body from Fujian.

Sang, now an advocate for the well-being of the disabled, has yet to accept any interview but wrote on her microblog to explain her late lawsuit.

"I did not file a lawsuit 13 years ago, not just because the lack of evidence. I was met with great pressure," she said.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: China Daily

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