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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, October 11, 2012 10:56 pm

Embattled speedskating coaches resign

The Associated Press

U.S. Speedskating's embattled short-track head coach and his assistant resigned from the organization Thursday, effective immediately.

Head coach Jae Su Chun and assistant Jun Hyung Cho both accepted suspensions from U.S. Speedskating through February 2014, including the Sochi Olympics to be held that month.

Chun has been accused by a dozen national team members of physical, emotional and verbal abuse, and of ordering speedskater Simon Cho to sabotage the skates of a Canadian rival. But investigators commissioned by U.S. Speedskating said they didn't find evidence that Chun engaged in such patterns of abuse, or of Cho's claim that Chun ordered the skate tampering.

Chun has denied all allegations.

Disciplinary proceedings against Cho continue and a hearing before the U.S. Speedskating Appeals Commission will be held soon.

The resignations occurred with barely a week to go before the first short track World Cup meet of the season in Canada. All of the athletes who qualified for the U.S. team have officially accepted their spots.

Interim coach Stephan Gough and team leader Pat Wentland will accompany the team to Canada, as will Anthony Barthell, the coach of the splinter FAST team.

A dozen members of the FAST team had filed a demand for arbitration that seeks Chun's permanent dismissal, and many have said they would refuse to skate for him if he was reinstated.

U.S. Speedskating said the arbitration, scheduled for Nov. 1, has been canceled.