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Triathletes disciplined for alleged abuse appeal bans

All Headlines 17:01 July 14, 2020

SEOUL, July 14 (Yonhap) -- Two triathletes penalized for allegedly abusing their former late teammate have appealed their bans.

The Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC) said Kim Do-hwan and his teammate, surnamed Jang, have submitted their appeals via email on Tuesday.

In this photo, provided by a reader on July 9, 2020, triathlete Kim Do-hwan stands before an urn containing remains of his late teammate Choi Suk-hyeon to pay his respects at a memorial park in Seongju, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul. Kim admitted to allegations made earlier by Choi that he had physically assaulted her while they were teammates for Gyeonggju City Hall club. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Their former teammate with Gyeongju City Hall's semi-pro club, Choi Suk-hyeon, was found dead on June 26 but not before accusing the two, plus head coach Kim Gyu-bong and team therapist Ahn Joo-hyeon, of verbally and physically abusing her on multiple occasions. Choi had earlier made allegations with local police and with both the KSCO and the Korea Triathlon Federation. Choi's pleas for help had gone unanswered, and it was only after her passing that legal and sports authorities began looking into those allegations more seriously.

On July 6, the triathlon body banned Jang for life and Kim Do-hwan for 10 years. Kim Gyu-bong was also slapped with a lifetime ban and he didn't appeal.

Ahn, who wasn't on the Gyeongju club pay roll and thus wasn't punished by the triathlon body, is under police investigation for his abuse charges.

Kim Gyu-bong, Kim Do-hwan and Jang all initially denied their charges during the triathlon federation's disciplinary hearing. But Kim Do-hwan has since admitted to his wrongdoing and apologized to Choi and her family.

In this file photo from July 6, 2020, a South Korean triathlete surnamed Jang, former teammate of the late Choi Suk-hyeon on the Gyeongju City Hall semi-pro club, enters a conference room at a Seoul hotel for the disciplinary hearing by the Korea Triathlon Federation. Before her death, Choi accused Jang of physically and verbally abusing her, claims that Jang denied. (Yonhap)

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