American ice-skating star Simon Cho was suspended from the sport for two years after he admitted to tampering with the skates of a Canadian rival, U.S. Speedskating announced.
“I always knew it was wrong that day,” Cho said. “I hope that I can make up for my mistake and continue to skate in the future.”
In October 2012, the 21-year-old admitted to sabotaging Olivier Jean’s skates with a blade bender during the World Team Championship.
The tampering meant the Canadian team could not compete for a gold medal, and were therefore left in the bronze position.
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Cho added that former short track national coach Jae Su Chun had advised him to do so, because he believed Canadians had aided another team in eliminating the American one.
“The repetitiveness and aggressiveness of how he came at me was very intimidating,” Cho said. “I knew he wasn't going to take no for an answer.”
The suspension means that although Cho won a bronze relay metal at the 2010 Vancouver Games, he will not be able to compete in the Winter Olympics in Russia.
Cho will be suspended until October 4, 2014.
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Cho was also suspended from the International Skating Union for violating the code of ethics, and will be allowed to rejoin after August 25, 2015.