13:53 GMT +321 September 2019
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    Shim Suk-hee (Republic of Korea)

    S Korea Mired in Scandal Over Coach Beating Champ Ahead of Olympics

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    In professional sports coaches may occasionally get rough when dealing with their players, and South Korea is by no means an exception to this sad rule.

    A South Korean women's short track speed skating coach has been suspended for allegedly striking the country’s Olympic gold medalist Shim Suk-hee.

    According to a statement by the Korea Skating Union on Friday, Shim left the national team training center for two days earlier this week after she was allegedly assaulted by one of her four male coaches, the AP reported.

    The KSU said an investigation is under way, but fell short of identifying the assailant.

    "We will investigate the incident and take the necessary measures expediently," the KSU said in a statement, pledging “utmost efforts to make sure athletes focus on preparing themselves for the Olympics."

    It gave no further details adding only that Shim had returned to the training center on Thursday.

    Shim Suk-hee fled the Olympic training center on Tuesday after she was hit by a coach who had trained her since she was a child, the Yonhap news agency reported.

    The incident happened just three weeks ahead of the February 9 opening of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

    Shim, who is 21, won the women's short track 3,000-meter gold medal during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. She also brought home silver and bronze in the 1,500-meter and 1,000-meter events.

    This is not the first example of coach violence in South Korean sports.

    In 2004, six members of the national women's short track speed skating team stopped training in protest against repeated assaults by their coach, who was later forced to resign.

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    scandal, assault, coach, Korea Skating Union, Shim Suk-hee, South Korea
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