U.S. speed skater’s dark secret: tampering with Canadian’s skate

Simon Cho says his coach told him to bend Olivier Jean’s skate before the 2011 world championships
Winner Simon Cho of the U.S. celebrates during the 500 meter men’s final race at the Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Dresden, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

Canadian Olympic gold medalist Olivier Jean is said to be have been the victim in an alleged sabotage, involving the United States short-track speed skating team, the Toronto Star reports.

Simon Cho, an American speed skater, says he was told to tamper with Jean’s blades ahead of the 5,000-m relay final at the 2011 world team championships in Warsaw, Poland. In a note to a teammate, Cho said his coach, Jae Su Chun, ordered the skater to bend the blade of his Canadian rival’s skate, so he would be unable to compete.

“It is my darkest secret and I regret it,” Cho wrote in the letter. Thirteen American skaters have filed a suit to try to have Chun fired for “unchecked abuse.”

Jean, a gold medalist in Vancouver, said that he and his coach had suspicions that his skate had been tampered with in Warsaw, but had no proof. Without him, the relay team finished third.

In the same letter, American skater Cho says he is preparing for the consequences to come—but was coming forward  so other skaters would be spared Chun’s ruthless coaching.