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International Skating Union condemns Cho Jae-beom

Feb 02,2019
The world governing body of skating on Friday denounced a recent physical and sexual assault scandal in Korean short track speed skating, saying it supports the local authorities’ continued investigation.

Cho Jae-beom, former national short track coach, received an 18-month jail term on Wednesday for his repeated physical assaults on Olympic champion Shim Suk-hee and other athletes. Cho is also under investigation for sexual assault allegations, raised by Shim in December.

In a statement, the International Skating Union (ISU) said it “noted the reports of abuse and harassment by at least one Korean coach on Korean short track skaters,” without naming names.

“The ISU condemns any kind of abuse and harassment on ISU participants and encourages the Korean authorities in their continuation of their investigations and related court decision severely punishing the convicted offenders,” the statement read.

The ISU added that according to its Code of Ethics, anyone affected by alleged cases of harassment or abuse may file a complaint to the ISU Disciplinary Commission.

“The ISU ... will pursue its efforts to establish clear conduct and integrity standards for all persons involved in the activities of the ISU, to prohibit conduct that might undermine public and internal confidence in the integrity of the ISU and the sports under its jurisdiction and to provide safeguards for protecting all participants in ISU Events, exhibitions and other ISU activities, in particular but not limited to skaters, from any form of harassment and abuse,” the statement added.

The Korea Skating Union (KSU) slapped Cho with a lifetime ban last year, but soon after that decision, Cho tried to extend his coaching career in China.

There have been other Korean skating coaches who got punished at home for abuse or assault incidents and still found jobs overseas. In response to the short track scandal, the government has vowed that it will prevent penalized instructors from getting new jobs in other countries.

Yonhap