SEONGNAM -- Former South Korean national short track coach Cho Jae-beom was sentenced to 10 months in prison on Wednesday for assaulting multiple athletes.
The Seongnam branch of the Suwon District Court in Seongnam, just south of Seoul, placed Cho under court custody, saying the ex-coach abused his position to physically punish his skaters, including two-time Olympic champion Shim Suk-hee.
Cho was charged with assaulting Shim and three other skaters between 2011 and January 2018. An incident involving Shim came to light in mid-January, just weeks before the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, when Shim left the national team training facility, apparently to avoid further assaults by Cho.
Cho received a lifetime ban from the Korea Skating Union later that month. After the Olympics, the sports ministry conducted an independent probe into the case. It concluded on May 23 that Cho's alleged assault was more serious than first reported and asked the police to further investigate the matter.
Prosecutors had earlier sought a two-year sentence for Cho, who was reportedly hired by the Chinese national team following the KSU's ban. (Yonhap)