U.S. speedskater Simon Cho (Jens Meyer / Associated…)
U.S. Olympic speedskater Simon Cho admitted to tampering with a Canadian rival's skates under pressure from his coach, Jae Su Chun, and said it was the "biggest mistake of my life."
Cho's comments were in a statement issued by his attorney Friday morning.
Chun has been accused by a dozen skaters of abusing them in his role as national-team coach within U.S. Speedskating. The skaters also alleged that he ordered Cho to tamper with Canadian Olivier Jean’s skates.
Cho fessed up on Friday.
"A year and a half ago, at the World Team Championships in Warsaw, Poland, after the U.S. team was eliminated from competition, I tampered with a skate that belonged to a Canadian team skater after being pressured to do so by my coach Jae Su Chun," Cho said in the statement. "Although the skate belonged to Olivier Jean, I had no intention to single him out. It was the biggest mistake of my life and one that I regret with all my heart. I apologize to Olivier and the Canadian team -- I have great respect for Olivier and the Canadian team and have never held any bad feelings toward them. I also apologize to all those involved in speed skating for my poor judgment and bad sportsmanship."
Canada, which had finished first or second in the six previous World Team Championships, finished third in 2011.
U.S. Speedskating has scheduled a news conference later Friday.
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