Simon Cho expects punishment because of allegations | Short-track speedskating
Olympic bronze medalist Simon Cho, an American short-track speedskater, said he expects to be suspended or banned because of skate tampering allegations.
Cho says he expects penalties
Olympic bronze medalist Simon Cho said Sunday he expects to be suspended or banned because of skate-tampering allegations.
The reigning national short-track champion, Cho made the comments after failing to earn a spot on the fall U.S. World Cup team. He declined to say if the allegations are true, but indicated he is preparing for the worst.
The allegations are part of a scandal involving U.S. coach Jae Su Chun, who is accused in a demand for arbitration of ordering Cho to sabotage a Canadian rival's skate at last year's World Team Championships. A dozen national-team members also have accused Chun of unchecked verbal, physical and psychological abuse.
Chun has denied the charges and remains on administrative leave pending an investigation by an independent agency.
JR Celski of Federal Way secured one of the 10 U.S. World Cup spots over the weekend in Kearns, Utah.
Four of the five men who qualified skate for the splinter FAST Team, including the 22-year-old Celski, and some have said they likely would not participate in World Cup events if Chun remains as coach.
Celski, who won three races over the four-day event, said he will participate either way.
"I think the most important thing this season for me and the team is to have experience in international competition," he said.
An arbitration hearing that seeks Chun's permanent removal is set for next Monday in Salt Lake City.
Cho, who is from Baltimore, plans to testify at that hearing and said he will be forthright and truthful, just as he was with the investigation ordered by U.S. Speedskating.
The 20-year-old acknowledged the distractions of the past few weeks contributed to his poor showing at the competition at the Utah Olympic Oval. He was ninth overall.
"But it's my job as an athlete to make sure I stay composed and focused when I need to. I wasn't doing such a good job of that," Cho said.
Knowing his reputation already has been severely damaged has been difficult to handle.
"I went from being Simon Cho, Olympic medalist and world champion, to the guy that supposedly tampered with somebody's skates," he said. "That was very damaging to me and my family."
He said he expects to be penalized "whether it's a suspension or ban."
So why would he expect punishment if the charges are only allegations at this point?
He pointed to Chun being suspended based on allegations.
"People (think) where there's smoke, there's fire," he said, noting the stories being told by those involved don't always match up.
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Los Angeles is third in the Western Conference with 50 points, one more than Sounders FC. Both the Galaxy and Seattle have secured playoff berths.
Jaime Castrillon scored in the 16th minute for Colorado.
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