Oct 5, 2012, 12:59 PM EDT
Short track speed skating world champ Simon Cho announced at a press conference in Salt Lake City Friday that rumors and allegations he was asked to tamper with a rival’s skates last year by suspended coach Jae Su Chun are true.
Cho alleges that Chun asked him to “mess with” a Canadian team member’s skates three times; twice in English, which Cho refused, and then in Korean, which was when the skater felt obligated to say yes because of his cultural connection with his Chun. Both were born in South Korea.
“In Asian culture when an elder asks you to do something very difficult, to deny the request, no matter how ridiculous it might sound at the time… I had a lot of pressure from that,” Cho admitted.
Cho apologized to Oliver Jean and the Canadian team for his actions at the 2011 World Team Championships in Poland, as well as to the speed skating community for his “poor judgment and bad sportsmanship.”
“Although the skate belonged to Olivier Jean, I had no intention to single him out,” Cho confessed in a statement. “It was the biggest mistake of my life and one that I regret with all my heart.”
Cho missed grabbing one of the five men’s spots on the U.S. world cup team Sunday, and afterward said he expects to be suspended for his actions. On Friday he added that he would never again skate for Chun, who has also been accused of “unchecked” physical and verbal abuse by 19 current and former skaters.
“I hope that I can make up for my mistake,” Cho finished. “And continue to skate in the future.”
- Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte split duels in Mesa 0
- Boston Marathon preview: Can Meb Keflezighi repeat? 0
- Michael Phelps jokingly challenges Katie Ledecky to race 1
- Debbie Phelps texted Michael Phelps about Rio 2016 years ago (video) 0
- Yevgeny Plushenko to return to figure skating competition 1
- Michael Phelps back with ‘OK’ victory in Mesa 1
- Michael Phelps could be offered World Championships spot by FINA 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)