Simon Cho, a US speed skater, is facing disciplinary action after he admitted to tampering with a competitor's skates before the world championships in Warsaw.
The Korean-American athlete, who celebrated his 21st birthday yesterday, October 7, apologized to Canadian Olivier Jean, who fell during the competition due to his damaged blade, the Washington Post reported.
“I’ve done him a horrible wrong,” Cho told reporters. “I just want to apologize to Speedskating Canada, the Canadian team and most of all Olivier Jean. I have great respect for Olivier Jean as a person and an athlete.”
US Speedskating officials, meanwhile, launched a disciplinary investigation to determine the appropriate punishment for Cho's "egregious breach" of its code of ethics, the New York Times reported.
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The 21-year-old, who immigrated from Canada with his mother at age 4, worked his way up the speedskating ladder to win a bronze medal in the 2010 Olympics for short-track racing, according to the Post.
Jun Hyung Yeo, the Americans' Short track interim coach, was suspended Friday because he didn't report the sabotage, Sports Illustrated reported. Meanwhile, head coach Jae Su Chun, who reportedly told Cho to tamper with Jean's skates, remains suspended, though attorneys say there is not sufficient evidence to prove Chun was responsible for "a pattern of physical and emotional abuse" against his athletes.
“I have not abused athletes in any way,” Mr. Chun said in a statement, according to the Times. “and I am confident I will be found innocent at the outcome of the investigation.”