Tom Smart, Deseret News
Investigation's complete report
Report of Special Investigative Counsel Regarding an Allegation of Tampering with a Competitor's Skate at the 2011 World Short-Track Speedskating Team Championships in Warsaw, Poland and Allegations of Abuse by Coaches at U.S.. Speedskating
Executive Summary October 5, 2012
Mandate and Independence
On August 16, 2012, U.S. Speedskating ("USS") retained White & Case through the United States Olympic Committee's Safe Sport program to conduct an independent investigation, on a pro bono basis, into three allegations:
Whether a U.S. skater tampered with a Canadian competitor's equipment during the 2011 World Short-Track Relay Championships in Warsaw, Poland;
Whether the USS coaching staff was physically abusing USS athletes; and Whether the USS coaching staff was emotionally abusing USS athletes.
In conducting the investigation, White & Case:
* Made three trips to the United States Olympic Oval in Kearns, Utah ("Olympic Oval"), during August 27-29, 2012, September 4-7, 2012 and September 18-19, 2012;
* Conducted some three dozen in-person interviews at the location of the interviewees' choosing, including at the Olympic Oval and away from it in West Logan, Utah and Salt Lake City, Utah;
* Held numerous telephone interviews and follow-up interviews in person and by telephone;
* Distributed its contact information and the fact of its unlimited availability widely in the speed-skating community to ensure ease of access to all concerned;
PRIVILEGED & CONFIDENTIAL ATTORNEY WORK PRODUCT
* Examined extensive electronic data and print documents; and
* Reviewed applicable policies, bylaws, rules, guidelines and similar documents, as well various sources for guidance on the interpretation of the relevant provisions of the USS Code of Conduct.
Findings The Tampering Allegation
Skater Simon Cho admits that he intentionally damaged a Canadian competitor's skate before the Canadian's race at the 2011 World Speed-Skating Relay Championships in Warsaw. Head Coach Jae Su Chun admits that he learned of the incident immediately after it occurred. He then told Assistant Coach Jun Hyung Yeo on the way back to the team hotel. Coach Chun and Assistant Coach Yeo admit that they failed to report the incident to the appropriate authorities. In our initial interviews with them, Coach Chun, Assistant Coach Yeo and Simon Cho misled us about what they knew had happened in Warsaw.
Simon Cho alleges that he was directed to damage the skate by Coach Chun, and Coach Chun denies this. Simon Cho states that Coach Chun initially asked skater Jeff Simon and him to damage the skate, and they refused to do so. Jeff Simon denies that this conversation took place. Simon Cho alleges that Coach Chun then asked him on two more occasions to damage the skates, and he finally agreed. Coach Chun denies that those conversations took place.
Simon Cho also states that during the race in question he communicated to Jeff Simon that he, Cho, had damaged the skate. Jeff Simon denies that this communication took place. Jeff Simon states that Simon Cho first told him that Cho had damaged the skate on the plane ride home much later that evening. Jeff Simon states that Mr. Cho did not at this time mention anything about their coach having directed Mr. Cho to damage the Canadian skater's blade. Jeff Simon said that Mr. Cho asked Mr. Simon to keep confidential the information that Mr. Cho had damaged the skate, and Mr. Simon did so.
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