Ex-Romanian Gymnasts Bare All Yet Again
TOKYO (AP) _ Three former Romanian gymnasts who have been heavily criticized for appearing nude in a DVD film and photographs in Japan bared all yet again in a Japanese news magazine.
The photos, published in the latest issue of the Shukan Gendai, show Lavinia Milosovici, 26; Claudia Presecan, 23; and Corina Ungureanu, 22, posing naked and performing gymnastics on a balance beam in only a G-string. The issue was sent to subscribers on Sunday.
The three have been embroiled in a scandal in Romania and Japan since they first appeared nude in the magazine’s Nov. 16 issue. Weeks later, two DVDs and a book featuring them naked went on sale in Japan.
Their photos _ some taken in suits bearing the Romanian Gymnastics Federation crest _ nearly brought a ban against the federation in Japan last month. The Romanian federation later barred the three from coaching and refereeing in official competitions for five years.
Although the suspension only applies to official federation competitions, Presecan quit her job last month as a gymnastics teacher at a school in Timisoara.
The three gymnasts have denied disgracing the image of Romanian gymnastics.
Presecan took the all-around gold and the team gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and was also part of the Romanian team that won the world gymnastics title in 1994, 1995 and 1997. Milosovici won two gold medals at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
In its latest issue, Shukan Gendai used some of the same photos it had previously bought from Tokyo-based Ongaku Senka Co., which published a book of the photos in November.
Officials at both the magazine and its publishing company declined to comment on the matter.
It wasn’t clear if the magazine, which covers current affairs and also publishes nude photos, obtained the still DVD pictures along with the first batch of photos printed in November.
The gymnasts did not disclose how much money they had earned for the first photo session, which took place in September, but Romanian newspapers reported it was up to $40,000.