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Sports ministry extends probe into abuse in curling by 2 weeks

All News 10:37 December 05, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- The sports ministry said Wednesday it has extended its special probe into abuse allegations in curling by two weeks to look further into the case.

Since Nov. 19, the ministry has been looking into claims raised by members of the Olympic silver medal-winning women's curling team that they had been subjected to unfair treatment and verbal and emotional abuse by curling coaches and officials. Seven representatives from the ministry, the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC) and North Gyeongsang Province, the training base for the curlers, were scheduled to conclude their joint investigation on Friday.

But the ministry said the deadline has been pushed to Dec. 21 so that the investigators could cover all the bases. The ministry also announced that two chartered accountants have been added as outside experts to take a closer look at financial records.

The investigation is targeting South Korean curling's royal family, led by Kim Kyung-doo, former vice president of the Korean Curling Federation (KCF). His daughter, Kim Min-jung, was the head coach of the women's team when South Korea won silver at the PyeongChang Winter Games, and her husband, Jang Ban-seok, coached the mixed doubles team at PyeongChang 2018.

The curlers said the Kim family was trying to turn the national team into their family business and that they had to endure verbal and psychological abuse from their coaches.

Kim Kyung-doo initially denied these allegations but did an about-face with an apology on Tuesday. He also announced he and the rest of his family will no longer be involved in curling.

In this file photo from Nov. 15, 2018, South Korea's Team Kim curlers speak at a press conference at Seoul Olympic Parktel. From right are Kim Cho-hee, Kim Eun-jung, Kim Seon-yeong, Kim Yeong-mi and Kim Kyeong-ae. (Yonhap)


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