South Korean Olympic speed skating champion Lee Seung-hoon is facing allegations that he assaulted two teammates on multiple occasions.
In announcing the findings of its probe into the Korea Skating Union on Wednesday, the sports ministry said, without naming names, that a skater is believed to have struck two younger teammates during overseas competitions in 2011, 2013 and 2016.
Later, speed skating sources said the accused athlete is Lee, a two-time Olympic gold medalist. According to one source, Lee said he was just playing around with his teammates and hit them lightly, but his teammates feel that they were assaulted with malicious intent on Lee's part.
In this file photo from Feb. 24, 2018, South Korean speed skater Lee Seung-hoon holds up arm after winning gold in the men`s mass start during the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics at Gangneung Oval in Gangneung, 230 kilometers east of Seoul. (Yonhap)
Officials in Lee's camp said they are trying to verify facts. Lee couldn't be reached for comment.
Lee, 30, is one of South Korea's most decorated Winter Olympic athletes, having won two gold and three silver medals in four different disciplines across three Olympics.
He shot to stardom by capturing the gold in the men's 10,000 meters and the silver in the 5,000 meters at Vancouver 2010. He added a team pursuit silver at Sochi 2014, and then in February this year, he became the inaugural men's mass start gold medalist at PyeongChang 2018, while also earning silver in the team pursuit. (Yonhap)