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Ex-triathlon coach admits to having assaulted late athlete

All News 16:55 October 16, 2020

DAEGU, Oct. 16 (Yonhap) -- A former triathlon coach accused of assaulting triathlete Choi Suk-hyeon, who died by suicide in June after enduring years of abuse, admitted to most of the criminal charges against him in a court hearing on Friday.

The 42-year-old Kim Gyu-bong admitted to verbally and physically abusing Choi while serving as coach of the Gyeongju City Hall triathlon team during the hearing at the Daegu District Court.

But the former coach denied the charge of having taken money from team members when they went overseas for training.

This file photo from Yonhap News TV shows Kim Gyu-bong (C), former coach of the Gyeongju City Hall triathlon team. (PNOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This file photo from Yonhap News TV shows Kim Gyu-bong (C), former coach of the Gyeongju City Hall triathlon team. (PNOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Two of Choi's teammates -- Jang Yun-jung, a 31-year-old woman, and Kim Do-hwan, a 25-year-old man, who were also indicted in July for abusing and assaulting Choi, admitted to their charges in the same hearing. The triathlon team's therapist, named Ahn Joo-hyeon, also acknowledged his assault charges for Choi in a separate hearing last month.

Choi was found dead on June 26 after enduring years of abuse from her coach, therapist and teammates. The circumstances that led to her death sparked national outrage and exposed a culture of abuse still rife in South Korean sports.

ycm@yna.co.kr
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