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Speed skater Noh Jin-kyu undergoes surgery to remove malignant tumor

Noh Jin-kyu was ruled out of the Sochi Games after fracturing his elbow. (Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images) Noh Jin-kyu was ruled out of the Sochi Games after fracturing his elbow. (Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

World record-setting South Korean short track speed skater Noh Jin-kyu saw his Sochi Winter Olympics hopes dashed when he fractured his elbow last week. Now a cancer diagnosis could end his career.

Reuters reports a five-inch tumor in his shoulder was discovered during medical examinations in September. Noh opted not to have the tumor removed until after next month's Sochi Games. Once he was ruled out for the Olympics, Noh underwent surgery to remove the cancerous tumor and has been prescribed chemotherapy treatments.

“We also found out about the tumor through the media reports and were taken aback,” a Korea Skating Union official told Reuters. “He bumped into a Canadian skater at the World Cup last September and fractured his left shoulder … the exact same spot where he had a tumor.

“So we thought it was something due to the fracture that was sticking out of his uniform, never a 13-centimeter-long malignant tumor.”

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Noh, who won the overall World Championship in 2011, holds the world record for the 1500-meter event, is expected to be replaced on the South Korean team by Lee Ho-Suk.

The South Korean speed skating team has endured several setbacks leading to Sochi, including having one of the national team coaches temporarily expelled from the Taeneung National Team Training Center amid allegations that he had sexually molested his former student two years ago.

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