Japan Olympic Committee probes physical abuse of gymnast by her coach

Kyodo

The Japan Olympic Committee is moving to investigate a report that a female gymnast was physically abused by a coach, it was learned Wednesday from a source.

It will be the first probe carried out since the JOC in March established an office to hear complaints from athletes in light of a physical abuse scandal that rocked the All Japan Judo Federation.

“Whoever the whistle-blower is, it could be someone who quit the club, but within the club there are athletes who dislike their coaches,” a coach who has been questioned by the JOC regarding the complaint said in an interview. “But regardless, I have never raised my hand to an athlete. I have no recollection of ever doing so.”

The JOC began looking into this case in July.

“If the investigation reaches some conclusion, then we will make it public. We can’t say anything now except that we are investigating,” ,” a JOC source said.

The Japan Gymnastic Association is also conducting its own investigation and if it is determined that physical abuse was used during training, it will take disciplinary measures. A top executive of the association, however, said the probe is going nowhere because the JOC is protecting the identity of the whistle-blower.

“Our investigation is not proceeding because we are unable to interview the alleged victim, who has taken her complaint to the JOC,” the executive said.