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U.S. Speedskating Launches Disciplinary Panel For Skate Tampering Incident

Simon Cho of the U.S. celebrates during the 500 meter men's final race at the Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Dresden in 2011.
Jens Meyer
Simon Cho of the U.S. celebrates during the 500 meter men's final race at the Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Dresden in 2011.

U.S. Speedskating apologized today, after one of its athletes admitted that he tampered with the skates of a competitor.

"I speak for everyone at U.S. Speedskating — our staff, athletes and Board of Directors — when I say that we are shocked and disappointed by Simon [Cho's] actions," Tamara Castellano, marketing director of U.S. Speedskating, said in a prepared statement. "We would like to apologize to Speedskate Canada and Olivier Jean, as well as all of the Canadian athletes who competed in Warsaw, for the actions of our athlete."

In an interview with NPR's Howard Berkes, Cho alleged that Jae Su Chun, the head coach of U.S. Speedskating's short track team, repeatedly asked him to sabotage the skates of a competitor.

Cho, a bronze medalist, admitted that he eventually tampered with the skates of Canadian athlete Olivier Jean at the 2011 Short Track World Team Championships in Warsaw, Poland.

Castellano said Cho's actions were "an egregious breach of our code of conduct."

She said U.S. Speedskating is convening a disciplinary panel that will meet "immediately to determine the appropriate course of action."

"Because this incident occurred at an international, ISU-sanctioned event, we will also be consulting with the ISU and the U.S. Olympic Committee," Castellano said.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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