Two South Korean male mogul skiers, who competed at last month’s PyeongChang Olympics, have received life bans for the sexual assault of female teammates during the Freestyle Skiing World Cup in Akita, Japan.
Choi Jae-woo, 24, and Kim Ji-hyun, 23, have been accused of “physically and sexually abusing female athletes” and will be prohibited from registering as skiers at the Korea Ski Association [KSA], a spokesman said.
Their exclusion from the association will also mean that they are banned from taking part in any international and home competitions.
“We decided to ban Choi and Kim permanently,” the KSA spokesman said, adding that the incident occurred during a drinking session in a hotel, when the skiers invited their female counterparts to join them in their room. After their proposal was rejected, the two man allegedly sexually assaulted the girls, who made their complaint public upon their arrival home.
Choi, who is ranked sixth in the moguls FIS World Cup standings, is one of the most recognizable skiers in South Korea. He reached the men’s moguls final at the home games in PyeongChang, but was eliminated from medal contention after failing to finish his second run.
Kim, who also represented South Korea in PyeongChang, failed to get through the qualifying races.
In one of his interviews at that time, Choi said he was planning to take part in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, which will now be impossible due to his ban.