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Olympic speed skating champion Lee Seung-hoon apologizes over assault allegations

All News 22:43 August 04, 2020

SEOUL, Aug. 4 (Yonhap) -- Two-time Olympic speed skating gold medalist Lee Seung-hoon apologized Tuesday over allegations of physically assaulting teammates.

"I give my apologies for causing concern in regard to the unwholesome affairs following the PyeongChang Olympics," Lee said in a video posted to YouTube.

"Over the past two years, I had time to look back (at myself). No matter what, I realized that I am the one to be blamed and who needs to repent," the 32-year-old said, adding that he will take care so as not to repeat the same mistakes.

The apology came after Lee's one-year suspension ended last month. The Korea Skating Union (KSU) delivered the penalty in July 2019, saying it had gathered sufficient testimonies from witnesses to conclude that Lee assaulted two younger teammates on multiple occasions.

Lee was accused of beating up on two teammates at a team hotel and a restaurant during international competitions in 2011, 2013 and 2016.

Lee is one of South Korea's most decorated Winter Olympic athletes, having captured two gold and three silver medals in four different events across three Winter Games.

The apology also came as the sports community is having a wake-up call over bullying and violence cases involving athletes.

In a reform bid, the National Assembly on Tuesday passed a revision to the National Sports Promotion Act, aimed at preventing bullying and violence by sports trainers and athletes following the apparent suicide of former Gyeongju triathlete Choi Suk-hyeon who was verbally and physically abused by a head coach and fellow triathletes.

An image of speed skating gold medalist Lee Seung-hoon, captured from a YouTube video on Aug. 4, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

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