The World Figure Skating Championships in Japan has been rocked by claims that US star Mariah Bell deliberately injured rival and training partner Lim Eun-soo of South Korea during a training session.

The controversial incident took place on Wednesday during the official rehearsal of the ladies’ short program. Bell, 22, who was scheduled to skate right after Lim, 16, approached her Korean counterpart and allegedly cut her left leg with a skate blade.

Lim was forced to leave the rink to receive emergency treatment from medical staff following the controversial episode, which could have led to her withdrawal from the tournament.

The International Skating Union (ISU) is set to investigate the incident after South Korea’s figure skating body lodged an official complaint, claiming the US athlete had deliberately kicked Lim with her skate.

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According to Lim’s management agency All That Sports, Lim was skating close to the edge of the rink when Bell came from behind and suddenly kicked and stabbed her, cutting the skater’s left leg.

The agency also claimed that Bell had been continuously bullying Lim during preparation for the global tournament as both athletes have been training in Los Angeles under the same coach, Rafael Arutyunyan. (RT)