Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Accused assistant coach replaces U.S. speedskaters’ head coach
First Published Sep 17 2012 02:43 pm • Last Updated Jan 07 2013 11:31 pm

An assistant coach whom U.S. Speedskating athletes asked to be banned from coaching or traveling with the team because of alleged abuse has been put in charge of the program while its head coach is suspended during an investigation of the charges.

Assistant coach Jun Hyung Yeo was named to coach the short-track skaters, in the absence of accused head coach Jae Su Chun.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The federation announced the decision in a conference call with reporters on Monday, with spokeswoman Tamara Castellano saying U.S. Speedskating chose Yeo "for the stability of the program" and because there were "no specific claims made against him" in a series of grievances filed recently by 14 active short-track skaters.

Indeed, the skaters leveled detailed accusations against only Chun, who on Sunday professed his innocence in a statement and was suspended just hours later.

However, in a Sept. 11 letter to the U.S. Olympic Committee, the skaters asked that both men — along with associate Jimmy Jang — be barred from coaching or traveling with the team during the upcoming World Cup season.

The skaters also accused all three men of abuse, generally, in their initial grievance Aug. 30.

Their attorney, Edward Williams, said he should have provided more detailed charges against Yeo and Jang in his filings, if U.S Speedskating was going to presume that those men were not accused as seriously as Chun.

"I have to broaden the brush," he said.

Williams said he plans to file Tuesday for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association, to seek a resolution before the start of qualifying races Sept. 27 at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns to determine which skaters will compete in the upcoming World Cup competitions.

The international law firm White & Case has been investigating the allegations since early August, working for free as part of a program with the U.S. Olympic Committee.

story continues below
story continues below

But speedskating officials said they don’t know when the inquiry will be finished.

"The most important thing is that they do a thorough job," said Steve Smith, general counsel for U.S. Speedskating.

Williams said the investigation should have been done by now, and he was surprised and "very disappointed" that U.S. Speedskating wasn’t calling its press conference Monday to announce the removal of the coaches.

He said arbitration will ensure that a resolution is reached before the qualifying races at the U.S. Short-Track Speedskating Championships.

All of the skaters who filed the complaints have been boycotting U.S. Speedskating’s national training program because of the alleged abuse, and Williams said none of them will return to it with Yeo in charge. They have been training instead with private coaches in the so-called FAST program at the Oval, which is separate from the national training program.

Skaters do not have to be training with the national team in order to compete in the upcoming qualifying races.

Williams said he’s especially concerned about what will happen if some of his clients qualify for the World Cup teams, and have to travel abroad with Yeo still in place as their national-team coach.

In the letter to the USOC, Williams called the possibility "unthinkable."

Yeo (or Chun) could play a role in determining the rosters for the World Cup events, too.

Next Page >

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.