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World’s top speed skater banned after allegedly pulling down teammate’s pants

Hyo-Jun Lim of South Korea reacts after winning the men's 3,000-metre Superfinal finals at the ISU World Short-Track Speed Skating Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, on March 10, 2019.
Hyo-Jun Lim of South Korea reacts after winning the men's 3,000-metre Superfinal finals at the ISU World Short-Track Speed Skating Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, on March 10, 2019. EPA/VASSIL DONEV

The world’s top short-track speed skater and reigning Olympic champion has been banned from the sport for a year after allegedly pulling down a male teammate’s pants in front of several women in South Korea.

The Korean Skating Union (KSU) has suspended Olympic gold medallist Lim Hyo-Jun from all skating-related activities in response to the sexual harassment allegation, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reports.

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The KSU says it reached the decision after reviewing CCTV footage of the alleged incident, which reportedly occurred on June 17 at the Jincheon National Training Center where South Korea’s national team practices. Officials spoke to Lim, the targeted teammate and several witnesses as well.

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The KSU has also banned all 14 skaters on the men’s and women’s national teams for one month.

The alleged harassment victim has not been identified.

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Lim, 23, emerged from obscurity to win the 1,500-metre gold at the Olympics in his home country in 2018. He followed his Olympic success by winning several titles at the World Championships in March.

The suspension puts those titles in jeopardy in 2020.

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