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2 Olympic medalists among 5 speed skaters punished for drinking at training center

All News 15:01 August 09, 2019

SEOUL, Aug. 9 (Yonhap) -- Five male South Korean speed skaters, including two Olympic medalists, were penalized by the sport's national federation on Friday for drinking at their training facility.

The Korea Skating Union (KSU) said skaters Kim Tae-yun, Kim Cheol-min, Kim Jun-ho, Kim Jin-su and Noh Jun-soo were each suspended for two months. The KSU said the skaters were found to have consumed alcohol inside the National Training Center in Seoul on June 27. Athletes are strictly prohibited from drinking there.

In this file photo from Feb. 23, 2018, Kim Tae-yun of South Korea celebrates his bronze medal in the men's 1,000m speed skating race at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics at Gangneung Oval in Gangneung, 230 kilometers east of Seoul. (Yonhap)

They will not be part of the national team's training camp in Canada next month, though they will be eligible to return in time for the national team trials for the 2019-2020 season at the end of October.

Kim Tae-yun won the bronze medal in the men's 1,000m at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics last year, while Kim Cheol-min grabbed silver in the men's team pursuit at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

The KSU handed down the penalty less than 24 hours after banning Olympic short track champion Lim Hyo-jun for one year for sexually harassing a male teammate during training in June.

There have been other unsavory incidents with national team skaters in recent months.

Former national short track team coach Cho Jae-beom was convicted of physically assaulting Olympic champion Shim Suk-hee in January this year, and Cho will stand trial on separate charges of sexually assaulting Shim.

In this file photo from Feb. 27, 2015, Kim Cheol-min of South Korea competes in the men's 1,500m race at the National Winter Sports Festival at Taeneung International Rink in Seoul. (Yonhap)

In February, male short track speed skater Kim Gun-woo was suspended for a month for trespassing in the female dormitory at Jincheon. Kim Ye-jin, a female short tracker who gave Kim Gun-woo an access pass to enter the female-only area, received a reprimand and was ordered to complete 10 hours of community service. Both also lost their national team spots ahead of the world championships in March.

Last month, two-time Olympic speed skating gold medalist Lee Seung-hoon received a one-year suspension for physically assaulting junior teammates.


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