Sports

South Korea to launch sex abuse in sport investigation

South Korea will hold its largest ever investigation into sexual abuse in sports, its human rights watchdog said yesterday, after an Olympic speed skating star accused her former coach of abuse, triggering a wave of similar accounts from athletes.

The inquiry will aim to address "systematic, sustained" abuse in sports, which had been hushed up for generations by victims afraid of being banished from their sport, said Choi Young Ae, chairwoman of the National Human Rights Commission.

"We will conduct a fact-finding inquiry that will be the largest in scale ever," Choi told a news conference.

A commission official said up to about 30,000 people - athletes from all sports, coaches, officials and others - are likely to be interviewed over the course of the year-long investigation.

The #MeToo movement has taken off belatedly in male-dominated South Korea, where discussion of sexual misconduct has long been taboo.

But the issue exploded in the world of sports after Shim Suk Hee, 21, accused her former coach, Cho Jae Beom, of sexual assault. Cho had already been convicted of assaulting the two-time Olympic champion - punching and kicking her during training - and jailed for 10 months in September. - REUTERS

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