The Korea Herald


Ex-nat'l short track coach interrogated by police for alleged assault of athlete

By Yonhap

Published : June 18, 2018 - 20:04

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SUWON -- A former South Korean national short track coach banned for allegedly assaulting an athlete was interrogated by police on Monday.

Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency in Suwon, some 45 kilometers south of Seoul, called in Cho Jae-beom for interrogation at 10 a.m. Monday, and he was grilled for nearly eight hours.

Cho Jae-beom (Yonhap) Cho Jae-beom (Yonhap)
Police sources said Cho admitted to his charges. Cho refused to answer reporters' questions as he entered the police station and only said he'd cooperate with the authorities the best he could. On his way out, Cho told reporters, "I am sorry," and again didn't answer any questions.

Cho received a lifetime ban from the Korea Skating Union in January this year for allegedly hitting Shim Suk-hee, one of the country's biggest short track stars, during practice. The incident took place weeks before the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on home ice.

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.

Then on May 27, Gyeonggi police said Shim had testified to having been struck by Cho on two previous occasions, including one from 2017.

Earlier in May, Chinese media reported that Cho had joined the Chinese national short track team. Cho returned to South Korea on June 7.

Shim, 21, is a two-time Olympian with two gold, one silver and one bronze medal to her credit. Skating just weeks after the assault, Shim helped South Korea to the gold in the women's 3,000-meter relay. It was her second consecutive gold in the relay event. (Yonhap)