Two South Korean freestyle skiers, Choi Jae-woo, 24, and Kim Ji-hyun, 23, have received life bans after female team mates complained of being sexually harassed at an event in Japan, the Korea Ski Association (KSA) announced.
The pair, who competed at last month’s Pyeongchang Olympics, have been accused of “physically and sexually abusing female athletes,” a KSA spokesman told AFP.
“We decided to ban Choi and Kim permanently,” the official added.
Sexual assault in Japan
According to the KSA spokesperson, Choi and Kim drank together in their hotel after an event at the freestyle Skiing World Cup in Akita.
The skiers asked female athletes in the next room to join them, with multiple media reports claiming that they assaulted them when the offer was refused.
The harassed women asked the South Korean police to investigate the skiers for assault after returning to Seoul.
Choi – who is currently ranked sixth in the moguls FIS World Cup and is one of the best-known skiers in South Korea – reached the men’s moguls final in the Pyeongchang Olympics but didn’t manage to finish his second run.
Kim was eliminated in the qualifying round.
The two skiers can appeal the bans to the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee within a week.