Olympic short track champion Shim Suk-hee suspended for 2 months for off-ice problems, Beijing’s status in limbo

Shim Suk-hee, two-time Olympic short track speed skating champion, was hit with a two-month ban for bashing coaches and teammates on Tuesday, a move which, barring a successful appeal, the will prevent participating in the Beijing Winter Games in February.

The Korean Skating Union held a disciplinary meeting at its Seoul headquarters on Tuesday to impose the punishment on Shim, who denigrated members of the South Korean squad during swearing-in swearing with a coach from the national team during the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang.

Their text messages, leaked to the media in October, were included in an argument submitted by legal representatives for Cho Jae-beom, another former national team coach then on trial for alleged sexual and physical assault on Shim.

With the Beijing Winter Olympics set to open on February 4, the two-month penalty will render Shim, 24, ineligible, unless she can get a reduction in the ban via a court injunction or a appeal to the Korean Olympic and Sports Committee.

Shim, who has won a relay gold in each of the last two Olympics, will be in dire straits. The next KSOC disciplinary meeting is scheduled for January 14. The deadline for submitting the Olympic short track entry is January 24.

Shim attended the hearing but had few words for the media before entering the KSU building, saying only that she “would state the facts and cooperate with the proceedings in good faith”.

Shim did not respond when asked if she would apologize to the national team.

Kim Seong-cheol, head of the KSU disciplinary committee, said Shim had “undermined the dignity of sport” with his actions.

Kim admitted that Shim was being punished for leaking her personal messages to the media, but he and the rest of the committee focused only on the fact that these messages had entered public discourse and that Shim herself had admitted her actions. reprehensible.

“We had little choice but to penalize her,” Kim said. “We didn’t necessarily take into account his status for the Olympics. We only determined the length of the penalty based on his actions.

A source close to Shim said on Tuesday the skater would consider “all available options” in response to the ruling, including filing a court injunction or appealing to the KSOC.

In the same texting chain with her trainer, Shim also hinted that she would try to trip a teammate, Choi Min-jeong, if they found themselves in the same race.

In the women’s 1000m final at PyeongChang 2018, Shim and Choi got tangled up as Choi attempted to pass an outside pass down the home stretch. The two fell and crashed into the wall. Shim was disqualified and Choi finished in fourth place.

Choi accused Shim of deliberately causing the accident and cited Shim’s texts with the trainer as evidence. Following its week-long investigation, however, the KSU Investigation Committee cleared Shim of the racial-rigging charges on December 8.

The KSU committee said that although Shim voluntarily pushed Choi’s left arm away, he could not determine whether Shim did it to protect himself or to prevent Choi from winning a medal.

When the allegations first surfaced in October, Shim was taken off the national team and did not compete in any of the four International Skating Union World Cup events.

After allegations against Shim first emerged, Choi publicly called on Shim to stop texting and calling him in a belated attempt to apologize. Choi’s agency said Shim caused Choi “extreme emotional distress” just by trying to reach his client. (Yonhap)

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