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Short track team sent home after harassment reports

June 27,2019
The entire Korean short track speed skating team has been expelled from the national training center over a sexual harassment incident involving two male athletes.

According to the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC) Tuesday, one male short track speed skater pulled down the pants of a younger male teammate during training while the female skaters were present on June 17 at the Jincheon National Training Center in Jincheon, North Chungcheong.

The younger skater reported the incident to his head coach, who in turn informed the Korea Skating Union (KSU) of the situation.

The two male skaters involved were medalists at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea’s Pyeongchang.

Shin Chi-yong, head of the training center, decided Monday to keep all 14 skaters on the national team - seven men and seven women - out of Jincheon for a month.

The KSOC is reportedly preparing to discuss further measures, based on the findings of the KSU’s investigation.

Later Tuesday, the KSU said in a statement that it will hold a disciplinary meeting sometime in July to discuss possible penalty for the skater in question.

The incident is the latest black eye to a sport that has already been marred by unsavory scandals in recent months.

Former national team coach Cho Jae-beom was convicted of physically assaulting Olympic champion Shim Suk-hee in January, and Cho will stand trial on separate charges of sexually assaulting Shim.

In February, male skater Kim Gun-woo was suspended for a month for trespassing in the female dormitory at Jincheon. Kim Ye-jin, a female short tracker who gave Kim Gun-woo an access pass to enter the female-only area, received a reprimand and was ordered to complete 10 hours of community service. Both lost their national team spots ahead of the world championships in March.

Yonhap