U.S. speedskating coach Jae Su Chun was placed on administrative leave Sunday, hours after his spokesman released a statement denying claims of verbal, physical and psychological abuse brought by current and former members of the national team, including five Olympic medallists.
Nineteen short-track skaters filed a wide-ranging grievance against U.S. Speedskating and 14 signed a code of conduct complaint with the U.S. Olympic Committee on Aug. 30.
"In light of a statement released today by Jae Su Chun — along with the on-going investigation — the U.S. Speedskating Board of Directors has voted today to place Mr. Chun on administrative leave. Mr. Chun will be on leave until the outcome of this investigation is complete," U.S. Speedskating said. "Until further notice, the practice sessions for all U.S. Speedskating athletes will be closed. We request that the media respect the privacy of our athletes as they prepare for the start of the upcoming season."
A USOC spokesman confirmed Friday the organization is investigating charges that include accusations Chun slammed an athlete against a wall and repeatedly hit him, threw bottles and chairs at skaters, and repeatedly told female skaters they were "fat" and "disgusting."
"I have not abused athletes in any way and am confident I will be found innocent at the outcome of the investigation," Chun said in a statement released Sunday through spokesman Hyonmyong Cho.