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Sports body to launch special audit of Olympic silver-winning curling team

All Headlines 13:58 November 09, 2018

SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top sports body said Friday it will launch a special audit of a curling team after the athletes claimed that their coaches treated them unfairly.

The Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC) said it will launch a joint audit with the sports ministry to verify issues raised by the women's curling team that won a silver medal at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.

The South Korean women's curling team at the Gyeongsangbukdo (North Gyeongsang Province) Sports Council, better known by its nicknames "Garlic Girls" or "Team Kim," recently submitted a letter to the KSOC claiming that the athletes were subjected to irregular, unfair treatment by their head coach Kim Min-jung, her husband Jang Ban-seok and her father Kim Kyung-doo.

Kim Kyung-doo is a former vice president at the Korean Curling Federation (KCF), while Jang was head coach for South Korea's mixed curling team at the PyeongChang Olympics. With Kim Min-jung, the two were considered big contributors to Team Kim's success.

The curling team comprised of Kim Eun-jung, Kim Yeong-mi, Kim Seon-yeong, Kim Kyeong-ae and Kim Cho-hee said in the letter that the coaches tried to "privatize" the team, giving unreasonable orders to the athletes and damaging the team atmosphere.

The curlers claimed that they also suffered verbal abuse from the coaches and didn't get the prize money earned from international competitions.

Jang released a statement earlier Friday and refuted the curlers' claims. He said that they properly managed the prize money under the athletes' consent and denied such wrongdoings in team operations.

The KSOC said if it confirms that the curlers' claims are true, it will punish the coaches.

This file photo taken on March 12, 2018, shows the South Korean women's curling team posing for a group photo at an event in North Gyeongsang Province after it won a silver medal at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. From left are Kim Eun-jung, Kim Yeong-mi, Kim Seon-yeong, Kim Kyeong-ae, Kim Cho-hee and head coach Kim Min-jung. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr
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