NEW YORK, Sept 17 (Reuters) - United States speedskating coach Jae Su Chun has been placed on administrative leave after officials launched an investigation into his training methods following complaints from athletes.
Nineteen skaters, including five Olympic medallists, filed a grievance complaint about Chun, claiming verbal, physical and psychological abuse, U.S. media reported.
The complaints include accusations that he once slammed a skater against a wall and that he repeatedly insulted female skaters by telling them they were “fat” and that he also forced other skaters to train while they were recovering from injuries.
Chun, who formally coached the South Korean national team before being recruited by U.S. speedskating in 2007, issued a statement denying the accusations.
“I have not abused athletes in any way and am confident I will be found innocent at the outcome of the investigation,” he said.
U.S. Speedskating officials met on Sunday and voted to close down the training program and place Chun on leave until the investigation was complete.
“In light of a statement released today by Jae Su Chun - along with the on-going investigation - the U.S. Speedskating Board of Directors has voted today to place Mr. Chun on administrative leave,” the statement read.
“Mr. Chun will be on leave until the outcome of this investigation is complete. Until further notice, the practice sessions for all U.S. Speedskating athletes will be closed.” (Editing by Justin Palmer)