JOC to interview judoka about abuse

Kyodo

The Japanese Olympic Committee will begin interviewing the 15 elite female athletes who allege they were victims of physical and verbal abuse starting this week and complete the inquiry this month.

The JOC said Saturday it will meet with two to three women at a time to uncover details surrounding the alleged incidents blamed on former women’s head coach Ryuji Sonoda and his coaching staff.

On Thursday, the JOC convened an emergency meeting with executive board members and said it will “reaffirm its policy to prevent violence in all sport.”

In a statement released Friday, the JOC said it passed a resolution to carry out an emergency investigation.

Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Japan Skating Federation and a member on the five-person investigation panel, appeared confident she can get the women to express their feelings about Sonoda’s practices.

“I think I can get them to skillfully express their feelings about coaches and, without taking a negative view about the problem, move confidently in the right direction,” said Hashimoto.