""Olympic Games"" – Google News
Olympic speed skating gold medalist Lim Hyo-jun has been acquitted of sexual harassment by the Supreme Court in South Korea, raising his hopes of participating in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
The reigning 1,500-meter short-distance men’s Olympic champion was found guilty of sexual harassment last year after pulling down the pants of a male colleague in front of female teammates in 2019.
He was fined KRW 3 million (£ 2,500 / € 2,300) by a Seoul District Court and given 40 hours of sex offender therapy.
The verdict was overturned on appeal before the Supreme Court upheld the appeals court’s decision.
According to the Korea Herald, the appeals court ruled that the incident at the Jincheon National Training Center was playful, with athletes joking around before training.
The Korea Skating Union (KSU) also banned Lim for one year in August 2019 in response to the allegations.
Lim claimed the act of exposing a body part was intended as a prank and that he has no plans to sexually molest his younger teammate.
Lim Hyo-jun aims to keep his Olympic title in the 1,500 m short course in Beijing in 2022 © Getty Images
The 23-year-old six-time world champion, who also took bronze over 500 m in Pyeongchang in 2018, has apologized for the sexual humiliation of his colleague.
In March, Lim reportedly applied for Chinese citizenship in order to participate in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Lim’s sexual harassment case is one of several scandals that hit KSU, the most serious of which concerns Cho Jae-beom, the former national coach convicted of sexually assaulting Olympic champion Shim Suk-hee.
Cho was jailed for 18 months after Shim went public with allegations that her former trainer sexually and physically molested her several times.
In another case, Kim Gun-woo imposed a month-long ban after entering the Jincheon women’s dormitory.