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US Speedskating Investigation Final Report by White & Case

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US Speedskating Investigation Final Report by White & Case Powered By Docstoc
					PRIVILEGED & CONFIDENTIAL
ATTORNEY WORK PRODUCT




                 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




                                   White & Case
                                 December 31, 2012




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                                                      TABLE OF CONTENTS
I.          MANDATE AND INDEPENDENCE ......................................................................................... 1
II.         METHODOLOGY.................................................................................................................. 1
III.        EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ....................................................................................................... 2
       A.         Mandate and Independence........................................................................................... 2
       B.         Methodology ................................................................................................................. 3
       C.         Findings......................................................................................................................... 3

            1.         The Tampering Allegation ...................................................................................... 3
            2.         The Allegations of Physical and Mental or Emotional Abuse ................................ 5
                  a.         Physical Abuse .................................................................................................. 7
                  b.         Mental or Emotional Abuse .............................................................................. 7
IV.         THE ALLEGATIONS OF SKATE TAMPERING ...................................................................... 8
       A.         The 2010-2011 World Championships ......................................................................... 8

            1.         Controversy at Sheffield, England .......................................................................... 8
            2.         Warsaw Relay Championships ............................................................................... 8
            3.         Tensions in the Locker Room ................................................................................. 9
            4.         Private Conversations ........................................................................................... 12
                  a.         Coach Chun’s Version .................................................................................... 12
                  b.         Mr. Cho’s Version .......................................................................................... 12
            5.         The Race ............................................................................................................... 14
                  a.         Coach Chun’s Version .................................................................................... 14
                  b.         Mr. Cho’s Version .......................................................................................... 16
                  c.         Mr. Simon’s Version....................................................................................... 17
                  d.         The Canadians’ Version .................................................................................. 18
            6.         The Banquet after the Competition ....................................................................... 19
            7.         The Issue Again Comes to Light .......................................................................... 19
            8.         Analysis................................................................................................................. 21



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V.         THE ALLEGATIONS OF PHYSICAL AND MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL ABUSE ......................... 23
      A.          Relevant Factual Background ..................................................................................... 23

           1.          An Introduction to Short-Track Speedskating ...................................................... 23
           2.          Performance-Based Funding ................................................................................. 24
           3.          More Athletes, Fewer Coaches ............................................................................. 25
           4.          USS Performs Well in 2010-2011 ........................................................................ 28
           5.          Lack of Trainer Support ........................................................................................ 28
           6.          Poor Performances, Mounting Frustrations .......................................................... 29
           7.          The Reality of Reduced Funding .......................................................................... 30
           8.          Spring of 2012....................................................................................................... 35
           9.          The Schism Widens .............................................................................................. 36
           10.         The Unsigned Athletes’ Complaints Against Coach Chun................................... 39
      B.          Pushing an Athlete ...................................................................................................... 39
      C.          Denying Water ............................................................................................................ 40
      D.          Pouring Water on an Athlete’s Head and Throwing a Binder .................................... 41
      E.          Comments about Weight............................................................................................. 43
      F.          Non-Communication................................................................................................... 46
      G.          Allegations of Abuse on the Ice .................................................................................. 49

           1.          Overtraining and Mandatory Training Despite Injuries........................................ 49
           2.          Stealing the Joy from the Sport ............................................................................. 51
           3.          Criticizing the Athletes ......................................................................................... 52
           4.          Punishment Training ............................................................................................. 53
      H.          The Perspective from the NRP ................................................................................... 54

VI.        STANDARD OF REVIEW ..................................................................................................... 60
VII.       CONCLUSIONS ................................................................................................................... 67
      A.          Physical Abuse ............................................................................................................ 70



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          1.           Pushing an Athlete ................................................................................................ 70
          2.           The Water-Bottle Incident .................................................................................... 71
          3.           Denying Water ...................................................................................................... 72
          4.           Training on Known Injuries .................................................................................. 72
          5.           Overtraining .......................................................................................................... 74
     B.           Mental or Emotional Abuse ........................................................................................ 75

          1.           Comments about Weight....................................................................................... 75
          2.           Non-Communication............................................................................................. 77
          3.           Public Humiliation ................................................................................................ 78




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I.        MANDATE AND INDEPENDENCE

        White & Case LLP (“White & Case”) was engaged on a pro bono basis by U.S.
Speedskating (“USS”) through the United States Olympic Committee’s Safe Sport program
(“Safe Sport”) on August 16, 2012. White & Case was asked to perform an independent
investigation under the USS Code of Conduct into three specific issues:

          (i) Whether USS athletes and/or coaches tampered with a Canadian competitor’s
              equipment during the 2011 World Short-Track Speedskating Team Championships in
              Warsaw, Poland;
          (ii) Whether the USS coaching staff physically abused USS athletes; and
          (iii)Whether the USS coaching staff emotionally abused USS athletes.

        White & Case has not been asked to investigate complaints about USS’s funding,
structure, administration, leadership, Board of Directors or other issues, and only examines them
in this Report to the extent that they are relevant to the mentioned issues. White & Case has not
been asked to make recommendations regarding the situations it has examined and has not done
so in this Report.

       USS has cooperated fully with White & Case and granted access to all USS facilities,
personnel and documents, as well as to those athletes who wished to speak with us. USS’s
leadership has also taken comprehensive steps to ensure the integrity, confidentiality and
independence of the investigation.


II.       METHODOLOGY

       While it had no subpoena power in conducting the investigation, with the cooperation of
USS, the skaters and others, 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;

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       •   Held numerous telephone interviews and follow-up interviews in-person and by
           telephone;
       •   Distributed its contact information and made the fact of its availability widely known in
           the speedskating community to ensure ease of access to all concerned;
       •   Examined extensive electronic data and print documents; and
       •   Reviewed applicable policies, bylaws, rules, guidelines and similar documents, as well as
           various sources for guidance on the interpretation of the relevant provisions of the USS
           Code of Conduct (all of the above collectively, the “Investigation”).


        The data in the Report were gathered under the attorney-client privilege and attorney
work-product doctrine, with due regard for the privacy of the interviewees and the documents
reviewed. To maintain that privacy and confidentiality, we have omitted all names from this
Report 1 except those of persons directly involved with the key allegations. All information and
materials were handled in a secure and confidential manner. This Report sets forth the results of
the Investigation.

       White & Case advised the USS President on September 14, 2012, and the full USS Board
on September 18, 2012, that it appeared that there was no imminent physical or mental danger to
any athletes from the USS coaching staff. White & Case presented an Executive Summary to
USS on October 5, 2012. USS released it to the public that same day.


III.       EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

           A.      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:




1
           In our citations we have generally deleted the names of interviewees and others and replaced them with this
           symbol: [−].

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     (i)          Whether USS athletes and/or coaches tampered with a Canadian competitor’s
                  equipment during the 2011 World Short-Track Speedskating Team Championships in
                  Warsaw, Poland;
     (ii)         Whether the USS coaching staff physically abused USS athletes; and
     (iii)        Whether the USS coaching staff emotionally abused USS athletes.


            B.       Methodology

            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 made the fact of its availability widely known in
            the speedskating community to ensure ease of access to all concerned;
     •      Examined extensive electronic data and print documents; and
     •      Reviewed applicable policies, bylaws, rules, guidelines and similar documents, as well as
            various sources for guidance on the interpretation of the relevant provisions of the USS
            Code of Conduct.

                                                 *   *   *
            C.       Findings

                     1.     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 Speedskating Team Championships in Warsaw.

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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 from the
championships. Coach Chun and Assistant Coach Yeo admit that they failed to report the
incident to the appropriate authorities. In our initial interviews with them, each of Coach Chun,
Assistant Coach Yeo and Simon Cho misled us about what they knew had happened in Warsaw.

        Mr. Cho alleges that he was directed to damage the skate by Coach Chun, and Coach
Chun denies this. Mr. Cho states that Coach Chun initially asked both him and skater Jeff Simon
to damage the skate, and they refused to do so. Mr. Simon denies that this conversation took
place. Mr. Cho alleges that Coach Chun then asked him on two more occasions to damage the
skate, and that Mr. Cho finally agreed when Coach Chun said that he would take responsibility if
the matter came to light. Coach Chun denies that those conversations took place.

       Mr. Cho also states that during the race in question he communicated via body language
to Mr. Simon that he, Mr. Cho, had damaged the skate. Mr. Simon denies that this
communication took place. Mr. Simon states that Mr. Cho first told him that Mr. Cho had
damaged the skate on the plane ride home much later that evening. Mr. Simon also 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. Mr. 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. Mr.
Simon is a vocal critic of Coach Chun and could have a motive to corroborate Mr. Cho’s version
of events, but did not. This lends credibility to Mr. Simon’s recounting of the incident.

        Only two people know what really happened. Absent a further confession by one or both
of them, we offer our best judgment, mindful that an adversarial proceeding under oath could
generate a different conclusion. There is no doubt that Coach Chun’s inappropriate behavior
created a charged and tense situation at the Warsaw competition (Coach Chun admits as much).
We believe that Coach Chun’s improper actions and statements, lack of judgment and self-
control contributed to creating an atmosphere in which Mr. Cho thought that it was appropriate
to tamper with a competitor’s skate. However, based upon our investigation and the facts
available to us, we do not believe that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that Coach Chun
directed Simon Cho to tamper with the skate.




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                      2.     The Allegations of Physical and Mental or Emotional Abuse

        In an investigation where there were often inconsistent and contradictory recollections of
certain events, it should be noted at the outset that all of the USS athletes and those who coach
and support them are extraordinarily committed and passionate about their sport. Many of the
athletes and administrators have been involved in speed skating since childhood and have
essentially dedicated their lives to it.

       A combination of factors resulted in a number of issues at USS during the 2011-2012
season that gave rise to significant dissatisfaction among a group of the skaters. They include:

                  •   A significant increase in the volume and intensity of training as part of the four-
                      year Olympic preparation cycle;
                  •   The absence, for a variety of reasons, of consistent athletic-trainer support. Those
                      short-term trainers who were present often did not know the athletes’ bodies well;
                  •   The departure of two English-speaking assistant coaches from Canada;
                  •   An overall decrease in the number of full-time coaches in the program to two,
                      both non-native speakers of English;
                  •   The invitation of a greater number of skaters to join the National Team. One
                      skater suggested that the team should have fewer than ten skaters and with the
                      additional invitations it included more than twenty;
                  •   A number of injuries and disappointing performances by the men’s team during
                      the season;
                  •   The reduced allocation of funding to certain skaters – as required under the
                      relevant rules – in part on the basis of their poor performances during the season;
                  •   A general perception among the skaters that no one at USS would listen to them
                      about their concerns, much less act on them.

       This spring, a group of skaters started expressing dissatisfaction to USS with virtually all
aspects of USS – including its administration of the short-track program, athlete-funding
decisions, marketing, general management, Board behavior, and oversight. These skaters also
began to advance allegations of physical and emotional abuse by Coach Chun. This group

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ultimately decided not to accept invitations from USS to rejoin the National Team for the coming
season, although there was a difference of opinion as to how much of that decision was driven by
their views on Coach Chun and how much was driven by dissatisfaction with the administration
of USS.

        Coach Chun and his coaching methods have, however, generated increasingly extreme
reactions in those who train under him. The skaters we interviewed who had remained on the
National Team are enthusiastically supportive of Coach Chun and are deeply committed to his
practices and the results they yield. Those in the pro-Chun camp are uniformly of the view that
his leadership will allow them to reach their full potential as speed skaters and will greatly
increase their chances of becoming Olympic medalists in 2014. They report that team
camaraderie and morale have never been higher and that they are routinely setting personal bests.
They have supported Coach Chun in, among other things, a public letter.

        Those in the anti-Chun camp – including some who were among his strongest supporters
in the past – now accuse Coach Chun of physical and emotional abuse. They moved openly to
have him fired. These skaters appear united in their belief that Coach Chun has stripped from
them the joy of speed skating and harmed their performance. But beyond that, each seems to be
uniquely unhappy with Coach Chun’s methods based on his or her own particular circumstances.
Some allege that Coach Chun is responsible for injuries new and preexisting, others hold him
responsible for funding problems, or for cutting them from the team, or for their declining
performance. Some of these skaters have stated that Coach Chun was too aggressive in voicing
his concerns about their performance; others have said he ignored them.

       A challenge in this investigation was to determine whether these many and sometimes
contradictory allegations arose from actual physical and/or mental or emotional abuse or were
instead driven by dissatisfaction with Coach Chun’s coaching style, or something else entirely.
In making our assessment we have examined the USS Code of Conduct, which leaves, among
other terms, “physical abuse,” “harm” and “mental abuse” undefined. We looked to the
U.S. Olympic Committee’s Coaching Ethics Code, a recent arbitral decision that interpreted the
USS Code of Conduct, materials and explanations provided by the U.S. Olympic Committee’s
Safe Sport Program, and the context, facts and circumstances of the situation facing us to provide
standards for our assessment.



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                      a.      Physical Abuse

        The most serious accusation of physical abuse arises from an event – physical contact
between Coach Chun and a skater in 2008 – that was not witnessed by any of the accusers.
Nonetheless, the group alleging physical abuse variably characterized the incident as Coach
Chun slamming the skater against the elevator wall, Coach Chun beating him in the elevator, or
having “shoved [him] against an elevator door by his neck” and having “taken care of him.” The
only two participants actually involved in the altercation – Coach Chun and the skater – admit
that there was some contact, but described it as Coach Chun pushing the athlete twice against a
wall without causing him physical harm.

        We have examined this incident and all of the other allegations of physical abuse raised
against Coach Chun and believe that individually they do not constitute physical abuse and
collectively they do not constitute a pattern of abuse. In arriving at this conclusion, we
interviewed not just the USS athletes, coaches and administrators, but USS support staff who
were in routine contact on and off the ice with the skaters. These USS staffers uniformly denied
that they had witnessed or were aware of any incidents of physical abuse. We found their
independent, careful and credible assessment to be helpful in drawing this conclusion.


                      b.      Mental or Emotional Abuse

        Our investigation has revealed that Coach Chun is an intense and demanding coach; that
his spoken English often does not permit the expression of nuance; that his personality and
coaching style can be abrasive; and that he frequently does not communicate effectively with his
skaters. The allegations against Coach Chun are troubling. We also believe that a number of
incidents identified by the skaters should have been handled differently, and in retrospect Coach
Chun agrees with that assessment. But these relatively isolated though admittedly disturbing
incidents did not in our view, when looked at in context and mindful of the totality of the
circumstances, constitute a pattern of emotional abuse. This conclusion should not, however, be
viewed as an endorsement of Coach Chun’s training methods and tactics.

       In arriving at this conclusion, the independent, careful and credible assessment of support
staff who frequently interacted with the skaters – that they had neither witnessed nor were aware
of emotional abuse – was helpful. The genuine respect, loyalty and affection that the skaters
who remained with Coach Chun in the national program have for him were compelling. And the

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evidence that Coach Chun, when alerted to issues of concern to the skaters and cultural
differences that he may not have been aware of, made good-faith efforts to moderate his
behavior, and that there was improvement across his tenure, was persuasive.


IV.       THE ALLEGATIONS OF SKATE TAMPERING

          A.      The 2010-2011 World Championships

                  1.       Controversy at Sheffield, England

         The U.S. team competed in the 2010-2011 World Short-Track Speedskating
Championships at Sheffield, England from March 11-13, 2011. There, skater Simon Cho
became World Champion in the 500 meter event. 2 Notably, another U.S. skater stole a Chinese
National Team member’s iPad, which turned out to contain the Chinese team’s training program.
The skater was caught on camera doing this. 3 USS Head Coach Jae Su Chun took immediate
action to send him home that night, and the skater was ultimately issued a USS Code of Conduct
violation and suspended for one year. 4 By all indications, this skater took the computer on his
own initiative, and there was never any accusation or hint that Coach Chun had anything to do
with it. 5


                  2.       Warsaw Relay Championships

       Due to the skater’s departure, the U.S. men’s team was one man down going into the
World Short-Track Speedskating Team Championships the next weekend in Warsaw, Poland.
At the Warsaw competition, the U.S. and Canadian teams shared a locker room, as teams
frequently do in international competition. In the perception of Coach Chun and others, at one of



2
          U.S. Skater Cho wins 500, joins Reutter in world short track lead. Philip Hersh. Chicago Tribune, March
          12, 2011. Found at http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/sports_globetrotting/2011/03/cho-gold-short-
          track-reutter-lead.html (last visited December 30, 2012).
3
          [−] interview, August 29, 2012.
4
          [−] interview, September 10, 2012; [−] interview, August 29, 2012.
5
          [−] interview, September 10, 2012.

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the preliminary rounds, the Japanese and Canadian relay squads “team-skated” the U.S. 6 This
means that the two teams worked together using certain tactics to impede the U.S. squad’s
chances of advancing to the next round. 7 And in fact, the U.S. did not advance to the finals and
was relegated to skating in the B, or second, group. 8 Coach Chun believed that the Canadians,
for whom he had coached previously, had “team-skated” the U.S. with the Japanese because
Canada did not want to see the U.S. in the finals. 9 Coach Chun, said that he was disappointed in
the Canadians over this perceived incident and had a heated discussion with the Canadian coach
about the issue. An eyewitness said that Coach Chun told the Canadian coach that this behavior
was “unacceptable, cheating, not right.” 10 Coach Chun recalls explicitly mentioning to skaters
Jeff Simon and Simon Cho that he was displeased over the Canadians’ behavior in ostensibly
team-skating against the U.S. squad. 11

                  3.       Tensions in the Locker Room

       Throughout the competition, the general impression was that the Canadian team had been
dominating the shared locker room. As one USS staffer who was present put it, the Canadians
occupied the “whole space while the U.S. team cowered in a corner.” 12 The Canadians were
intimidating the U.S. team and making its skaters feel like they had lost their races before they
happened. 13 According to several observers, the Canadians were being rowdy and aggressive in




6
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012; [−] interview, September 7, 2012. The Canadian team denies that any
          team-skating took place. [−] interview, October 25, 2012; [−] interview, October 25, 2012; [−] interview,
          November 2, 2012.
7
          Team skating is illegal under speedskating’s rules but is very hard to prove. [−] interview, September 5,
          2012.
8
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
9
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
10
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
11
          [−] interview, November 16, 2012.
12
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
13
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012; [−] interview, November 16, 2012.

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the locker room and took more than their share of the space by, for example, squeezing out the
U.S. massage table and placing theirs in the middle of the room. 14

        Coach Chun described the situation and his words to the U.S. team substantially as
follows: The Canadians were being very loud, and our athletes were very quiet. The U.S. team
was acting like a middle-school team and the Canadians were behaving like professionals.
Because Coach Chun had sent a skater home over the laptop incident in England the week
before, the U.S. team only had four members to the Canadians’ five. Coach Chun said that the
U.S was outnumbered and that he wanted the situation to be more equal. He told the U.S. squad
that it needed team leadership, team chemistry, team spirit, and that the U.S. skaters should,
among other things, put their massage table in the middle of the room and be more like a football
or soccer team. He told the U.S. men to “be more proud for your country, USA is the biggest,
strongest country, I want a strong team. If your opponent is nice, you be nicer, if they are
aggressive, you be aggressive.” Coach Chun suggested that the team needed a leader to stand
up, and that the skaters shouldn’t “lose [their races] in the locker room.” 15

         A number of the athletes present at the Warsaw competition, while certain that Coach
Chun never said anything about damaging a competitor’s skate in his remarks to the team, did
recall him encouraging the team to be “obnoxious,” “disruptive,” or “destructive” in the shared
locker room. 16 More specifically, they state that Coach Chun told the group to play loud music,
sit in one of the star Canadian skater’s spots, sleep in his spot, leave their sharpening stones out –
all to “get into” the Canadian’s heads. 17 Coach Chun does not deny encouraging the U.S. skaters
to be disruptive in the locker room.




14
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012; [−] interview, September 5, 2012; [−] interview, September 18, 2012; [−]
          interview, August 27, 2012.
15
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012; [−] interview, November 16, 2012.
16
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
17
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−] interview, September 7, 2012. In this regard, one skater mentioned
          that Coach Chun asked him after the event why the skater had let him “be so crazy.” [−] interview,
          September 6, 2012; Coach Chun denied that the conversation was formulated this way. [−] interview,
          September 19, 2012.

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        Coach Chun also stated that when the U.S. men occupied too much of Canada’s space, or
went too far, he would tell them to tone it down. For example, when Simon Cho lay down on the
Canadians’ massage table to disrupt them, Coach Chun states that he became upset with Mr. Cho
and “told him that this is not what I want, this is not leadership.” 18 At one point Mr. Simon was
allegedly eating some soup in the locker room and ostensibly asked Coach Chun if he should
dump it on a Canadian skater as he was sharpening his skate. Coach Chun says that he told the
skater either verbally or through gestures, that of course such a thing should not be done.19
Coach Chun acknowledged that due to English being a second language for him, sometimes the
U.S. skaters would make a joke of things he said, exaggerate them, and then attribute the
exaggerated notions to him. Coach Chun allowed that at times the U.S. skaters may also have
been guessing what he meant, but that no one asked for clarification. 20 However, by everyone’s
account, Coach Chun addressed the entire U.S. contingent about the locker-room situation, and,
in the words of one observer who was present, said “absolutely nothing about tampering with
skates.” 21 A skater on the breakaway side 22 also commented that there was nothing in Coach
Chun’s words that he interpreted as asking the U.S. skaters to tamper with anyone’s skates,
although he was not comfortable with Coach Chun’s insistence that the U.S. skaters be more
forceful with the Canadians. 23




18
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
19
          [−] interview, September 19, 2012; [−] interview, November 16, 2012. Jeff Simon denied that such a
          conversation took place. Simon Cho states that Jeff Simon told him that it was Coach Chun who had
          encouraged Mr. Simon to pour the soup on the Canadian skater as he was sharpening his skate. [−]
          interview, November 14, 2012. Coach Chun states that the idea originated with Mr. Simon and that Coach
          Chun took Mr. Simon outside of the locker room and explained that this kind of behavior was not what he
          meant by being disruptive in the locker room. [−] interview, November 16, 2012.
20
          [−] interview, September 19, 2012; [−] interview, November 16, 2012.
21
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
22
          As will be discussed more fully below, after May 20, 2012, USS’s athletes became divided into a “signed”
          group, which continued to train in the National Racing Program with Coach Chun until his placement on
          administrative leave on September 15, 2012, and an “unsigned” or “breakaway” group which trained in the
          FAST program at the same oval but with different coaches.
23
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.

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                  4.       Private Conversations

                           a.       Coach Chun’s Version

        At some point before the race in question, Coach Chun had a private conversation with
Mr. Cho, a Korean-American, in Korean. 24 In recent years, Coach Chun had been seeking a
team leader. He saw Mr. Cho as perhaps the strongest skater on the team, with many gold
medals, but not as much the leader figure. Coach Chun stated that before and after the 2010
Olympics, he had been trying to teach Mr. Cho slowly and “build up” in him the idea of being a
leader. In a conversation with Mr. Cho referencing the Canadians’ alleged team-skating, Coach
Chun said essentially, if we had a team leader, “this would never happen.” 25 Coach Chun
reiterated to Mr. Cho that he was looking to Mr. Cho to be the team leader, and, essentially, to
rally the squad, be proud and step up. In Coach Chun’s mind, these statements never meant
tampering with a competitor’s skate. 26

                           b.       Mr. Cho’s Version

        Mr. Cho recalled very differently several private conversations with Coach Chun before
the race in question. In Mr. Cho’s version, Coach Chun took both Mr. Cho and Mr. Simon aside
together and instructed them in English to damage the Canadian skaters’ blades. 27 Mr. Cho was
not certain of the exact words that Coach Chun used with Mr. Simon and him, but said that there
was no doubt in his mind that Coach Chun wanted them to damage the skates. Mr. Cho
described in detail the location of Coach Chun, Mr. Simon and himself on the rink when Coach




24
          [−] interview, September 19, 2012.
25
          [−] interview, November 16, 2012. Coach Chun stated that when he spoke with Mr. Cho about leadership
          at various times, he had done so in Korean and English, despite his own difficulties with English. Coach
          Chun added that Mr. Cho “didn’t always understand everything in Korean.” [−] interview, November 16,
          2012.
26
          [−] interview, September 19, 2012.
27
          [−] interview, September 19, 2012.

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Chun allegedly asked the two skaters to tamper with the equipment. According to Mr. Cho, Mr.
Simon refused and left. 28

        At some later point, Coach Chun pulled Mr. Cho aside and said in Korean that,
essentially, we need to do this, referring to damaging the Canadians’ skate. 29 Mr. Cho suggested
that Coach Chun’s reasoning was that if Mr. Cho wanted to be a team leader, then he would do
what in English translation would be along the lines of “mess up their blades.” 30 Mr. Cho was
afraid that the attention he would get from the coach would suffer if he did not comply, but he
refused. According to Mr. Cho, when Coach Chun asked a third time and said that he would
take full responsibility for any consequences of the action, Mr. Cho said that he would do it.
There was a small window of opportunity when Mr. Cho was alone in the otherwise crowded
locker room, and he used that chance to tweak the blade of a Canadian’s skate in Coach Chun’s
skate-bending machine. 31 According to Mr. Cho, this particular skate was not selected
intentionally but just happened to be the one closest at hand. 32



28
          [−] interview, September 19, 2012. In a separate conversation on the morning of September 19, 2012 at
          Mr. Simon’s house among Mr. Cho, Mr. Cho’s father and Mr. Simon, Mr. Simon reportedly denied being
          there when Coach Chun allegedly asked that skates be tampered with. [−] interview, September 19, 2012.
29
          In an e-mail to White & Case, Mr. Cho stated that Coach Chun told him in Korean: “You must do this. A
          team leader needs to be able to do things like this. I can’t trust anybody else (on the team). I can only trust
          you. In the same conversation, Jae Su used the term … nar gun-di-ryuh…” Mr. Cho stated that the Korean
          character for “nar” means blade and that the definition of “gun-di-ryuh” according to the “popular Korean
          website naver.com” is:
          “1. touch, jog, nudge
          2. annoy, irritate, bother, provoke, jar
          3. mess around with, sexually exploit.”
          [−] interview, November 14, 2012; E-mail from Simon Cho to White & Case dated November 14, 2012.
30
          [−] interview, September 19, 2012; [−] interview, November 14, 2012.
31
          In a separate, earlier, incident within the U.S. squad, one of the skaters who came to oppose Coach Chun
          says that he saw Mr. Cho take a U.S. skater’s skate, which the skater had not used for some time, and strip
          it against a concrete bench. When the unsigned skater asked Mr. Cho why he had done it, Mr. Cho’s
          alleged response was, essentially, “it’s no big deal, he’s not going to use it.” [−] interview, September 6,
          2012.
32
          [−] interview, September 19, 2012. The skate’s owner, Canadian athlete Olivier Jean, was at the time one
          of Simon Cho’s top rivals in the 500 meter race. In 2012, Mr. Jean would succeed Mr. Cho as World

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        As mentioned, Mr. Cho’s version has Mr. Simon present when Coach Chun asked them
both in English to damage the Canadian skaters’ skates. During the race, when the skater,
Olivier Jean, could not perform on his tweaked blade, Mr. Cho states that Mr. Simon looked over
at Mr. Cho and Mr. Cho indicated to Mr. Simon subtly through body language that Mr. Cho had
indeed damaged the skate. 33 Mr. Simon, by contrast, insists that he only learned from Mr. Cho
that Mr. Cho had damaged the skate on the airplane back from Warsaw. 34 Mr. Cho denied that
such a conversation on the airplane took place. 35

                  5.       The Race

                           a.       Coach Chun’s Version

        Before the race in question, Coach Chun was still angry about the alleged team-skating
by the Canadians in an earlier race. At some point before the team relay, Coach Chun expressed
his displeasure to Olivier Jean about the team-skating and asked Mr. Jean if he knew who was
behind it. According to Coach Chun, Mr. Jean said that he did not think that the Canadian



          Champion              in             the           500-meter            event.                       See
          http://espn.go.com/olympics/speedskating/story/_/id/7669024/olivier-jean-canada-takes-500-meters-world-
          short-track-speedskating-gold (last visited December 30, 2012). Coach Chun had coached Mr. Jean when
          Coach Chun was a coach on the Canadian National Team, and Mr. Jean, until the events in question, was
          one of Coach Chun’s favorite skaters and the closest to him of all the Canadian athletes. [−] interview,
          November 16, 2012.
33
          [−] interview, September 19, 2012.
34
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−] interview October 3, 2012.
35
          [−] interview, September 19, 2012. A skater in the unsigned group who at the time had a close personal
          relationship with Mr. Cho and who had not initially been interviewed called White & Case to state that Mr.
          Cho had sat beside her on all legs of the journey from Warsaw to Salt Lake City and had also accompanied
          her on an approximately 90-minute queue when the team changed planes in Paris. She noted that Mr. Cho
          sat in window seats with her next to him and only got up to use the bathroom. The skater did not recall
          seeing Mr. Simon at all on the travel day except on the team bus. She related that Mr. Cho mentioned
          nothing to her about the tampering incident then or later. [−] interview, November 23, 2012. Mr. Simon
          acknowledged that Mr. Cho sat with this skater on the flights, but also noted that he and Mr. Cho “sat next
          to each other at intervals during the trip back…”. [−] interview, October 3, 2012.

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coaches had ordered it, but perhaps individual skaters had done it on their own accord. 36 Coach
Chun responded that he did not “like the sport going this way” and told Mr. Jean that he does not
“like that kind of bad sportsmanship team to win.” Coach Chun says that he told Mr. Jean, “I
don’t want you guys to win that way.” 37

        Immediately after the race, Mr. Jean approached Coach Chun and showed him his
damaged skate, 38 while the U.S. skaters were watching another race. 39 Coach Chun said that
“right away” he asked each U.S. male skater individually and privately if he had done it. 40
Mr. Cho was the third or fourth skater that Coach Chun questioned about the incident, and
Mr. Cho stated in Korean, “I did that.” Coach Chun said he was shocked and numb. He asked
Mr. Cho why he had done it. Mr. Cho used the formal Korean to say “I’m sorry.” Coach Chun
still could not understand why Mr. Cho had done this, and asked again. Mr. Cho responded,
“Coach Chun, I don’t know why.” According to Coach Chun, Mr. Cho kept saying “sorry” and
“I don’t know [why].” Coach Chun again asked Mr. Cho why he had done this and why he had
selected Mr. Jean. According to Coach Chun, Mr. Cho explained, “I need to be a leader and felt
like I need[ed] to do something.” Coach Chun responded that “this is not what I wanted.” 41


36
          Mr. Jean denied suggesting that Canada had in any way team-skated against the U.S. [−] interview,
          November 2, 2012.
37
          [−] interview, November 16, 2012.
38
          No one disputes that Mr. Jean’s blade was placed in the blade bender and tweaked. [−] interview,
          September 10, 2012; [−] interview, September 19, 2012; [−] interview, September 19, 2012.
39
          [−] interview, September 19, 2012.
40
          Coach Chun explained that he asked his skaters whether they had damaged the skate because “this team is
          often doing something crazy.” He said that the American skater’s theft of the Chinese team’s iPad was
          impossible to expect but it happened, adding, “I asked them because with these guys anything is possible.”
          [−] interview, November 16, 2012. Mr. Simon stated that “[i]n no way did Jae Su ask me individually, or
          as part of a group concerning Olivier’s equipment.” E-mail from Jeff Simon to [−], November 19, 2012.
          Another skater present stated that “…I do not recall Jae Su ever asking the US as a whole “who” tampered
          with Olivier’s skate.” E-mail from [−] to [−], November 18, 2012. The attorney for the breakaway skaters
          relevant to this line of inquiry refused to make them available for follow-up interviews and asked that
          White & Case pose written questions for them. On December 8, 2012, White & Case provided written
          follow-up question through counsel to the relevant represented skaters who were present in Warsaw during
          the tampering. Despite White & Case’s requests, no answers were provided.
41
          [−] interview, November 16, 2012.

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Coach Chun stated that Mr. Cho “may be done,” meaning that his speedskating career might be
over. Coach Chun asked Mr. Cho what he was going to do. Mr. Cho replied that he did not
know what to do, and asked Coach Chun what he should do. The conversation was in Korean
and was quiet. It lasted for roughly one minute. 42 Coach Chun never told the appropriate
authorities about what Mr. Cho had done. 43

                           b.       Mr. Cho’s Version

       As Coach Chun was speaking with Mr. Jean on the ice after the team-skating incident and
before the relays, Mr. Cho “was actually right there” and although he was “not in the
conversation,” he heard it. Mr. Cho stated that the conversation between Coach Chun and Mr.
Jean took place “definitely after we had agreed to do it, and I think it was after I had done it,”
meaning tamper with Mr. Jean’s skate. In Mr. Cho’s recollection, “the conversation [with Mr.
Jean] went on for two minutes” but “I wish you bad luck was the worst thing [Coach Chun]
said.” Coach Chun was not “yelling [but] was trying to keep his cool when talking to Olivier.”
But, Mr. Cho observed, “you could tell he was angry” by his body language. 44

        After the race, Coach Chun spoke with Mr. Cho. Mr. Cho recalls that Coach Chun asked,
essentially, why did you listen to me? Mr. Cho reported that Coach Chun stated, substantially,
that Mr. Cho was not supposed to listen to him when he says things like telling Mr. Cho to
damage the skate: he’s just being angry. It seemed to Mr. Cho that Coach Chun was not in a
clear state of mind when he asked Mr. Cho to damage the skates, but that afterward Coach Chun
had come to his senses. In Mr. Cho’s version, Coach Chun said straightaway that no one should
know about the incident. 45 Coach Chun then asked Mr. Cho who knew about it. Mr. Cho
replied that Mr. Simon knew about it. Coach Chun told Mr. Cho to tell Mr. Simon not to tell
anyone. 46 Coach Chun also told Mr. Cho not to tell Assistant Coach Yeo. Coach Chun some


42
          Id.
43
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012; [−] interview, September 19, 2012. Assistant Coach Yeo, who Coach
          Chun told shortly thereafter what had happened, also never informed the appropriate authorities about what
          he knew that Mr. Cho had done.
44
          [−] interview, November 14, 2012.
45
          [−] interview, September 19, 2012.
46
          Id.

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later time told Mr. Cho that he himself had told Assistant Coach Yeo about the incident. At a
later date, Mr. Cho learned that while Coach Chun had told Assistant Coach Yeo about it, Coach
Chun had not told Assistant Coach Yeo that it was Coach Chun who told Mr. Cho to damage the
skate, leaving the impression that Mr. Cho did it on his own initiative. 47 According to Mr. Cho,
he, Coach Chun and Assistant Coach Yeo “pretty much never brought it up again” after Mr. Cho
became aware that Assistant Coach Yeo was also told. 48


                           c.       Mr. Simon’s Version

        Jeff Simon stated that Coach Chun never asked him to damage anyone’s skates at any
time, but only told the U.S. skaters to be “disruptive” or “obnoxious” in the locker room, as
described above. Mr. Simon also recalled that before the race Coach Chun had told Canadian
skater Olivier Jean, “normally I don’t wish this, but I hope you lose.” 49 Later, in the stands
watching the race in question, Mr. Simon saw that Mr. Jean was not skating well, but did not
discuss or communicate about the matter as this time with Mr. Cho. After the race, Mr. Jean
approached Mr. Simon and accused Coach Chun of having damaged his equipment. Mr. Simon
stated that much later that evening, on the plane ride home from Warsaw, Mr. Cho told him that
Mr. Cho had damaged Mr. Jean’s skate by tweaking it with the skate bender. Mr. Simon recalled
that Mr. Cho specifically asked him not to tell anyone and remembered clearly that Mr. Cho did
not tell him at this time that Coach Chun had told Mr. Cho to damage the skate. 50 Mr. Simon
said he did not reveal his knowledge of the matter to anyone until this investigation began, and




47
          When Mr. Cho came to understand in mid-September 2012 that Coach Chun had not told Assistant Coach
          Yeo of Coach Chun’s instructions to Mr. Cho, Mr. Cho told Assistant Coach Yeo that Coach Chun had
          directed him to tamper with the skate. [−] interview, September 19, 2012; E-mail from Assistant Coach
          Yeo’s attorney to White & Case, dated October 4, 2012.
48
          [−] interview, September 19, 2012. According to Coach Chun, the incident was frequently discussed
          among the three of them over the next year. The essence of these conversations, in Coach Chun’s version,
          was the two coaches telling Mr. Cho never to do such a thing again to help him realize that it was wrong
          and to assist him with his growth, maturity and control. [−] interview, September 19, 2012; [−] interview,
          November 16, 2012.
49
          [−] interview, October 3, 2012.
50
          Id.

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Mr. Cho and Mr. Simon did not speak about the incident again. 51 Mr. Simon also said that after
the race Coach Chun said to him, “Why did you let me be so crazy?” 52


                           d.       The Canadians’ Version

        Before the relay race for which Canadian athlete Olivier Jean’s skate was tampered with,
Coach Chun approached Mr. Jean and told him how angry he was at the “dirty strategy” (the
team-skating) that the Canadian team had employed earlier in the competition against the U.S.
team. 53 Although Coach Chun and Mr. Jean had had a warm relationship when Coach Chun
coached the Canadian team, Coach Chun told Mr. Jean that he wished the Canadian team bad
luck and hoped it would lose in the upcoming relay race. 54 Later, in the shared locker room after
the race in question, a heated argument took place among Coach Chun and several of the
Canadian skaters. Coach Chun was still very angry about the alleged team-skating. 55 Other
Canadian skaters also reported Coach Chun’s extreme anger in the locker room, 56 although at
least one of the skaters allegedly involved with the team-skating did not know why Coach Chun
was so angry and only later understood it to be about the alleged team-skating incident. 57
According to a Canadian coach, the tension was so high that there was some risk of it escalating
to an actual fight and he escorted Coach Chun from the locker room. 58 One Canadian skater
said that he had no reason to think the Americans had damaged the skate, as several of the teams
at the World Championships had issues with the Canadian team. He added that he believed that




51
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
52
          Id.
53
          [−] interview, November 2, 2012.
54
          [−] interview, November 2, 2012.
55
          [−] interview, November 2, 2012. Coach Chun stated that chastising the Canadian team in the locker room
          for the alleged team-skating was “100% my fault, because this was not my team.” [−] interview,
          November 16, 2012.
56
          [−] interview, November 2, 2012; [−] interview, November 2, 2012; [−] interview, November 2, 2012.
57
          [−] interview, November 2, 2012; [−] interview, November 2, 2012.
58
          [−] interview, October 25, 2012.

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the Russians, who also had a Korean coach, were team-skating against the Canadians and “a lot
was going on.” 59

                  6.       The Banquet after the Competition

        At a banquet for all competitors the same evening, there were tensions between the
U.S. and Canadian teams, who coincidentally had been seated at the same table. 60 By this time
the Canadian team had learned from Mr. Jean that Coach Chun had wished the Canadian team ill
before the relay. 61 Mr. Jean had won a sum of money during the competition and received a
large cardboard mock-up check for the amount. According to many witnesses, Mr. Jean waved
the check at Coach Chun’s face and said something along the lines of “now I can get some new
skates.” 62 After the banquet, the teams dispersed. 63

        Following these events, USS made some efforts to look into the matter, and concluded
that the allegations had no basis. 64 No one with any direct knowledge about what had happened
informed officials at USS and there were no further developments in the matter until the summer
of 2012.

                  7.       The Issue Again Comes to Light

        On or around July 8, 2012, while Mr. Cho was training in France, a fellow U.S. skater
confronted him about the blade-tweaking incident in Warsaw some 16 months earlier. While the




59
          [−] interview, November 2, 2012.
60
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012; [−] interview, November 2, 2012; [−] interview, November 2, 2012.
61
          [−] interview, November 2, 2012.
62
          [−] interview, August 29, 2012; [−] interview, September 5, 2012; [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
63
          USS made efforts to improve relations with their Canadian counterparts, who were receptive, and life
          moved on. E-mail from [−] to [−], dated October 17, 2011.
64
          [−] interview, August 29, 2012. E-mail from [−] to [−], dated March 21, 2011, attached as Exhibit 1. The
          Canadian side had suggested that USS conduct its own investigation and decide what should be done,
          adding that it did not “even want to know who it was.” [−] interview, October 25, 2012.

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skater asserts that Mr. Cho told him about the skate incident voluntarily as they were chatting, 65
Mr. Cho counters that the skater confronted him by saying, essentially, “I know you did it, so tell
me what happened.” 66 The two had a two-hour Skype conversation on July 8 followed by a
lengthy text-message exchange 67 during which, among other things, Mr. Cho discussed the skate
tampering in Warsaw, admitted that he damaged the equipment and implied that he was told to
do so by Coach Chun. 68 On the morning of July 9, 2012, the skater who had communicated
with Mr. Cho told at least five people what he had learned, including Mr. Simon and the
girlfriend of a fellow skater on the team. The skater’s girlfriend reported the incident to the USS
Board of Directors by e-mail. 69 Though she had never spoken directly to Mr. Cho about the
incident, this woman wrote that “[t]he short end of the story is that Coach Jae had a skater(s)
cheat for the US men’s team, 2 years ago at World Teams in Poland. And by cheat, I mean
sabotage another skater’s equipment, to the point where this top ranked skater could not skate the
relay for his team.” She assigned blame to Coach Chun, stating that “[w]e cannot even
BELIEVE that this person is a role model, yet representing our Country. If anything, this
behavior will ruin our entire Country’s creditability [sic], and get us banned from international
racing” (emphasis in original text). 70 The skater’s girlfriend in an e-mail to a USS Board
Member on July 12, 2012 also stated that “[t]wo skaters have confessed that they were
approached by their head coach, Jae Su Chun, to sabotage Olivier’s skates.” 71




65
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
66
          [−] interview, September 19, 2012.
67
          The conversation between the skater and Mr. Cho took place on a text-messaging application called What’s
          App. The attorney for the unsigned athletes released the roughly 12-page single-spaced transcript of the
          text conversation to White & Case on October 29, 2012.
68
          Transcript of What’s App conversation between a skater and Mr. Cho, July 8-10, 2012; [−] interview,
          August 27, 2012; [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
69
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012; E-mail from [−] to [−], dated July 9, 2012, attached as Exhibit 2. Mr. Cho
          stated that he only learned that these matters had been revealed a few days after his return from training in
          France, on or around September 16, 2012. [−] interview, September 19, 2012.
70
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012; Exhibit 2.
71
          E-mail from [−] to [−], dated July 12, 2012, attached as Exhibit 3.

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                  8.       Analysis

       Mr. Cho admits that he intentionally damaged Mr. Jean’s skate before the latter’s race at
the 2011 World Speedskating Relay Championships in Warsaw. Coach Chun now admits that
he knew about the incident and told Assistant Coach Yeo, while both failed to disclose it to the
proper authorities. These facts are undisputed. What is very much in dispute is whether Coach
Chun told Mr. Cho to tamper with the Canadian skater’s equipment.

        Mr. Cho alleges that he was directed to damage the skate by Coach Chun, and Coach
Chun denies this. Mr. Cho states that Coach Chun initially asked Mr. Simon and him to damage
the skate, and they refused to do so. Mr. Simon denies that this conversation took place. Mr.
Cho alleges that Coach Chun then asked him on two more occasions to damage the skates, and
he finally agreed after Coach Chun said that he would take responsibility for any consequences if
the incident ever came to light. 72 Coach Chun denies that those conversations took place.

        Mr. Cho also states that during the race in question he communicated via body language
to Mr. Simon that he, Mr. Cho, had damaged the skate. Mr. Simon denies that this
communication took place. Mr. Simon states that Mr. Cho first told him that Mr. Cho had
damaged the skate on the plane ride home from Warsaw much later that evening. Mr. Simon
also states that Mr. Cho did not at this time mention anything about Coach Chun having directed
Mr. Cho to damage the Canadian skater’s blade. Mr. 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.

        Based upon our investigation and the facts available to us, we do not believe that there is
sufficient evidence to conclude that Coach Chun directed Simon Cho to tamper with the skate.
However, Coach Chun acted in many inappropriate ways during the course of this incident. At a
minimum he encouraged the U.S. skaters to be disruptive and disrespectful to the Canadian team
with whom they shared a locker room, an unsportsmanlike instruction that put the U.S. skaters in
a difficult position. Regardless of any anger he may have had at the Canadian team over the
alleged team-skating, Coach Chun’s wishing bad luck and ill will to a Canadian skater he




72
          It seems to us unlikely that such a blanket guarantee could or would have been given.

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formerly coached (whose skate would be damaged shortly thereafter) was inappropriate. 73 And
getting into a heated argument in the locker room with the Canadian skaters over the team-
skating issue after losing the race to the Canadians demonstrated such lack of judgment and self-
control that Coach Chun does not dispute that his behavior was wrong. We believe that Coach
Chun’s improper actions and statements, lack of judgment and self-control contributed to
creating an atmosphere in which Mr. Cho thought that it was appropriate to tamper with a
competitor’s skates. 74

        Coach Chun’s inappropriate actions, however, are not conclusive proof that he expressly
instructed Mr. Cho to tamper with Mr. Jean’s equipment. Of particular significance in our
analysis is the contradiction between Mr. Cho’s insistence that Coach Chun asked both him and
Mr. Simon to tamper with the skate, and Mr. Simon’s statements that this request never took
place. Mr. Simon is one of the more outspoken critics of Coach Chun and he has made it clear
that he has no desire to ever skate for Coach Chun in the future. If the conversation actually took
place the way Mr. Cho recalls it, Mr. Simon had every incentive to corroborate it. Yet, he denies
that Coach Chun said anything to him about tampering with the Canadian’s skate. Further, Mr.
Simon said that when Mr. Cho told him what happened on the plane ride home, Mr. Cho never
mentioned that Coach Chun told Mr. Cho to tamper with the skate.




73
          Mr. Cho made a public confession on October 5, 2012 to damaging Mr. Jean’s skate, and around this time
          called Mr. Jean to apologize. Mr. Jean expressed his appreciation for how Mr. Cho came forward with his
          admission and accepted Mr. Cho’s apology as sincere and heartfelt. [−] interview, November 2, 2012.
74
          Compounding Coach Chun’s inappropriate behavior is the question of language. Coach Chun’s English is
          imperfect and Mr. Cho’s Korean is imperfect. Given these communication difficulties and the various
          conversations that Coach Chun had had with Mr. Cho about being a team leader, it is possible that in the
          context of the tense situation that Coach Chun created, Coach Chun said something to Mr. Cho that Coach
          Chun reasonably believed had nothing to do with damaging a competitor’s skate, but that Mr. Cho
          interpreted as an instruction to take action against the Canadians.



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V.        THE ALLEGATIONS OF PHYSICAL AND MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL ABUSE

          A.      Relevant Factual Background

                  1.       An Introduction to Short-Track Speedskating

        Short-track speedskating is extremely physically demanding and dangerous, as skaters
race around a 111.12 meter track in tight packs at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. Blades are
tuned with tolerances of up to one ten-thousandth of an inch and maintaining equipment is
essential to success and safety in the sport. Physical contact, knocked blades, damaged skates
and crashes are routine. Injuries are common and often severe. Speedskating is simultaneously
an individual and a team sport.

        In the United States, elite speedskaters are generally drawn from recreational clubs
around the country. Athletes usually advance from club-level races, to regional races and finally
to the American Cup series, from which they are selected to try out for the World Cup team and
the World Championship team. 75 The world of national-level skaters is small and insular – many
athletes have known and competed against each other since childhood. They have shared
coaches, apartments, travel accommodations, successes and failures, friendships and enmity, for
years. The athletes frequently know each other’s families, and parents or siblings can be deeply
involved in the sport, for example as coaches or officials.

        The United States National Team trains at the Olympic Oval near Salt Lake City, Utah.
The National Team, or National Racing Program (“NRP”), is selected based on, among other
things, athlete performances in the World Championships and the World Cup, and to a lesser
extent in the American Cup. Athletes ranked in the top five are automatically invited, and
additional athletes are invited on a discretionary basis based on the Short-Track Committee’s
assessment of various factors such as the athletes’ international relay experience, potential team
attitude, mental strength and fitness. 76 Each year, roughly 16 athletes make the team. An
alternative to the NRP is the Facilitated Athlete Sport Training, or FAST, Program, a privately
funded skating program in which skaters must pay to enroll, but which is open to all skaters,



75
          [−] interview, September 24, 2012.
76
          [−] interview, September 24, 2012; 2011-2012 World Team Discretionary Selection Criteria.

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from any country. 77 Private programs such as FAST can provide skaters with more
individualized attention and often command more resources. 78 FAST Programs also often pay
coaches better, although coaching the NRP is considered more prestigious. In the past, top short-
track athletes have trained with both the NRP and the FAST Program. 79

       South Korean short-track speedskaters are generally considered the best in the world, and
hold half of the world records in the sport. Coach Chun, former head coach of the South Korean
National Team, was hired to coach the U.S. National short-track speedskating team on March 20,
2007, during the early part of the four-year Olympic training arc. 80 At the 2010 Winter
Olympics in Vancouver, the U.S. short-track team won six medals – the most ever won by a U.S.
speedskating team. 81 U.S. Olympic short-track teams consist of 10 members, five women and
five men. 82 Many of the skaters interviewed for this Report were either on the 2010 Olympic
team or trained under Coach Chun in the years preceding the Vancouver Games.


                  2.       Performance-Based Funding

        In non-Olympic years, the short-track speedskating season is focused on the World Cup –
a series of international competitions organized by the International Skating Union that run from
October to February and culminate with the World Championships in early March. 83 Skaters




77
          FAST members, and any other skaters, can qualify for the World Cup series based on their performance in
          certain qualifying competitions.
78
          [−] interview, September 24, 2012.
79
          Top short-track skaters most often join the NRP but there have been notable exceptions. For example, in
          1998, two of the fastest U.S. skaters trained in private programs. [−] interview, September 24, 2012.
80
          Offer Letter from U.S. Speedskating to Jae Su Chun, dated March 20, 2007.
81
          [−] interview, October 1, 2012; http://2010games.nytimes.com/events/speed-skating/index.html (last visited
          on December 28, 2012).
82
          If either the men’s or the woman’s team does not qualify an Olympic relay team, then that team may only
          consist of three athletes instead of five.
83
          [−] interview, September 25, 2012.

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race in different distances 84 for points, and at the end of the series those with the most points in
each distance and overall are the champions. Unlike most countries, the United States does not
provide government funding for its Olympic athletes. Athletes are funded primarily through the
sport’s National Governing Body, USS, 85 based largely on their performance in the most recent
World Championships. 86 The funding is modest. USS uses “funding bands” to determine
financial support, whereby the highest amount of funding (in Band 1) is given to athletes who
medaled in the most recent Olympics and are currently “competing at the same level.” 87 These
athletes received $2,100 a month for the 2012-2013 season. After Band 1, funding is allocated
by athlete performance in the most recent World Championships (for example, athletes who
placed 1st through 4th in the World Championships, whether in the individual or team
competition, are in Band 2 and received $1950 a month for the 2012-2013 season). The lowest
band is reserved for athletes who did not place in the top 10 at the World Championships, but
who may have been prevented from placing or competing due to certain circumstances (for
example an injury). 88 These athletes received $750 a month for the 2012-2013 season. 89


                   3.       More Athletes, Fewer Coaches

       The composition of the NRP changes dramatically during a four-year Olympic cycle.
Going into the Olympic Games, the NRP team is at its leanest, comprised only of the Olympic
Team and a few training partners. After the Olympic Games are over, the team swells to include
new talent that the NRP hopes to develop in the subsequent four years. For example, the NRP


84
          The four individual races are the 500-meter, 1000-meter, 1500-meter, 3000-meter, and the 5000-meter
          relay race for the men and 3000-meter relay race for the women.
85
          Athletes can also receive funding through sponsorship, though sponsorship typically accounts for only a
          small portion of the total money received.
86
          E-mail from [−] to [−], dated April 29, 2012, attached as Exhibit 4.
87
          Grievance by [−] against USS, sent to the USS President on or around August 5, 2012, attached as Exhibit
          5.
88
          [−] interview, September 24, 2012. USS receives a set amount of money from United States Olympic
          Committee each year, which it then subdivides among athletes based on the banding system. If more
          athletes perform well and are awarded funding in top bands, there is less money available to award “Band
          5” funding to injured athletes.
89
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012; Exhibit 5.

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plan after the 2010 Olympic Games was to bring in a larger squad and use the first two years to
focus on base training and mental toughness. 90 During this period, the coaching would be less
results-driven, and less attention than normal would be devoted to the top performers in the
group. In 2012-2013, with two years of base training behind, the focus would return to the most
successful athletes in anticipation of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. 91 Although
some athletes claimed that they did not know of the Sochi-focused, four-year training regimen, it
is well established that this was explained to the team and is typical in Olympic preparation. 92
Competitor countries such as South Korea and China have much deeper pools of skating talent
on which to draw. Consequently, for the 2011-2014 Olympic training arc USS made a decision
to invite a larger group of athletes than before. It extended 22 invitations in 2011 as compared to
17 in 2007, at the start of the previous four-year cycle. At points during the 2011 season, the
number of athletes training with the NRP was as high as 24, thanks to athletes from other
programs who joined in temporarily. 93

        To accommodate this larger group, Coach Chun was promised additional coaching
positions. 94 However, the additional coaches did not materialize, and two assistant coaches –
both Canadians – left in early 2010: one coach was let go at the insistence of Coach Chun, who
was dissatisfied with his work-ethic and reliability, 95 and another coach left after his contract
expired in March 2010. 96 There is also evidence that, for linguistic, cultural and coaching-style
reasons, Coach Chun preferred to work with Korean coaches. 97



90
          Coach Chun believes that mental toughness is very important because in his view many American skaters
          are overly emotional. [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
91
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
92
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012; [−] interview, September 18, 2012; [−] interview, September 24, 2012;
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
93
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
94
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012. By way of comparison, the other top short-track countries, South Korea,
          China and Canada have some three to four coaches per 10-12 athletes. [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
95
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
96
          [−] interview, September 25, 2012.
97
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.

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        A number of the skaters who would become the unsigned group suggested that the
departure of the two Canadian coaches was a turning point for them. The skaters believed that
before, when Coach Chun was working in tandem with other coaches from different skating
traditions, his excesses were moderated by other voices and there were vital outlets for
expressing concern and disagreement. These skaters interpret the Canadian coaches’ departures
as Coach Chun’s effort to exert full control over skaters’ training and other aspects of the USS
program. 98

        The departures left only two full-time coaches − Coach Chun and Assistant Coach Yeo,
who crossed over from the FAST Program in July 2011 − to coach as many as 24 athletes. In
addition to the NRP skaters, Coach Chun and Mr. Yeo had to temporarily absorb the members of
the FAST Program, who were now without a coach after Mr. Yeo left. In 2011, Coach Chun
tried to bring in a third Korean coach on a full-time basis to fulfill his plan of dividing the 24-
person squad into an A Group and a B Group, based on medal chances. 99 But a group of skaters,
some of whom would become the unsigned group, blocked the hire, stating among other things
that they wanted the third coach to be non-Korean, someone with a science background and who
would not “redline” them every day. 100 By the middle of 2011, the NRP comprised
approximately 24 skaters, two coaches and one trainer. Coach Chun was also responsible for
non-coaching administrative work, which he estimates took up some 50% of his time. 101 By
contrast, in 2007-2010, there had been some 12-17 skaters on the NRP, supervised by three
coaches and one permanent trainer. One Olympic medal winner on the team suggested that the
expansion to 24 skaters turned the U.S. National Team into a development team and that an
appropriate number of skaters for the NRP was between six and eight. 102




98
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012; [−] interview, September 18, 2012; [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−]
          interview, September 6, 2012.
99
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
100
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
101
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
102
          [−] interview, September 18, 2012.

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                  4.       USS Performs Well in 2010-2011

       Both the men’s and women’s teams had generally good competition results in 2010-2011.
One unsigned skater commented that Coach Chun’s training regimen was working and that even
without two major stars, the U.S. team had enjoyed its most successful season ever. 103 Under
USS’s practice, athletes on the NRP re-sign their contracts at the beginning of every season, in
April. All of the athletes invited to the NRP for the 2011-2012 season signed their contacts
without controversy. 104


                  5.       Lack of Trainer Support

         For a variety of reasons including budgetary restrictions, 105 the summer of 2011 was
marked by a lack of consistent trainer support for the USS athletes. Some training staff had been
“in and out” and three trainers left in fairly rapid succession. 106 Temporary and even intern
trainers were employed for a time, and they made some bad diagnoses, including missing things
like stress fractures and back issues, particularly on the men’s side. 107 One Olympian stated that
USS had never had such a long period without a trainer. 108

        Proper trainer support and recovery is essential to any athletic program, let alone one as
intense as the NRP. Many athletes and staff stated that not having a trainer available created
difficulties for the athletes and impeded their timely recovery from hard workouts. 109 USS
professional staff also added that overtraining issues are individualized and direct causes are hard
to ascertain. 110 As many of the USS skaters had pre-existing injuries, often serious ones, the



103
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
104
          [−] interview, September 24, 2012.
105
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012; [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
106
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
107
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
108
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
109
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012; [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
110
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012; [−] interview, August 27, 2012.

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revolving door of trainers during the 2011-2012 season meant that there was no consistent trainer
deeply aware of their athletic histories and customized needs. At the same time, the team size
had essentially doubled, putting even more pressure on an important, scarce resource during the
hardest conditioning of the four-year cycle. 111 Finally, because funding is directly tied to results,
and because there were so many more athletes now on the team, skaters were under intense
pressure to stay healthy and fight through injuries to ensure that they could compete and obtain
the results necessary for funding.

        A number of voices on both sides suggested that the problem in 2011-2012 was not so
much overtraining as it was consistent under-recovery. 112 One Olympian who spent time in both
the signed and unsigned camps stated bluntly that it was not the hard training under Coach Chun
that caused injuries, but the problems with the trainers, adding that the period when there was no
full-time trainer at all for the short-track program was particularly problematic. 113 Another
Olympian added that blaming the team’s injuries on Coach Chun is unfair, 114 while a member of
the unsigned group also suggested that not having a consistent trainer who knew the athletes’
bodies was a “huge issue.” 115 The athletes and Coach Chun were aligned on this matter, with
Coach Chun pushing the USS administration hard to ensure the necessary training services for
his athletes – and encountering frequent and frustrating delays. 116


                   6.       Poor Performances, Mounting Frustrations

       Although the men’s and women’s national teams trained under the same coaches, faced
the same lack of trainer support, and maintained essentially the same physical regimen as part of
the four-year plan, their results in the 2011-2012 season were substantially different. The
women performed well, enjoying a very strong season and winning many medals despite the fact


111
          [−] interview, August 29, 2012.
112
          [−] interview, August 29, 2012.
113
          [−] interview, September 18, 2012. Indeed, the long-track trainer was at times also trying to help the short-
          track athletes. [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
114
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
115
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
116
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012; [−] interview, August 29, 2012; [−] interview, August 27, 2012.

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that the team’s top skater was sidelined with an injury for half of the season. 117 Aside from that
skater, the women’s team largely remained healthy throughout the season. 118 By contrast, the
men suffered a number of injuries – some old ones re-aggravated, some freak ones, and some
new ones 119 – and as a group performed below expectations. The men’s team members won few
medals during the 2011-2012 season, thereby jeopardizing their performance-based funding. 120
One apparently well-regarded USS staff member stated that he did not recall any serious
complaints from the skaters about the men’s injuries at the time. 121


                  7.       The Reality of Reduced Funding

        The 2011-2012 season ended in March, at the World Championships in Shanghai, 122 and
the athletes dispersed for their post-season break. Due to their less-than-hoped-for performances
during the 2011-2012 season, many of the male skaters were frustrated that their funding was set
to be cut for the next season. 123 Athletes immediately began to express concerns that (i) they
were not being listened to, (ii) USS staff was overpaid and underperforming, (iii) athletes were
misled on how funding works, and (iv) USS coaches and staff was not being held accountable
for poor results. 124 Indeed, as set forth below, the documentary evidence provided to White &


117
          [−] interview, September 24, 2012.
118
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
119
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
120
          [−] interview, August 28, 2012; [−] interview, September 29, 2012.
121
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
122
          Athletes who did not qualify for the World Championships participated in the American Cup, which was
          held the weekend after the World Championships and marked the end of their season. [−] interview,
          September 24, 2012.
123
          E-mail from [−] to [−], dated April 29, 2012, attached as Exhibit 6. One female skater also expressed
          frustration that Coach Chun had not skated her in any of the rounds of the relay at the 2012 World
          Championships, thereby eliminating her chance of medal-based funding. [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
          Coach Chun countered that he could not take the risk of no skaters medaling to try to help one, who he
          thought was a weaker athlete at the moment. [−] interview, September 7, 2012. Another athlete
          commented that Coach Chun had made known to all several times his policy of skating the strongest teams
          with the best chance of medaling in the relays. [−] interview, September 19, 2012.
124
          Letter from Athlete Representatives to USS Board of Directors, dated April 10, 2012, attached as Exhibit 7.

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Case establishes a pattern of discontent about funding and the USS administration, with criticism
of Coach Chun less pronounced or absent. 125

        For example, as early as March 13, 2012, one highly successful skater had written to the
USS Short-Track Committee with concerns about his funding and insurance. 126 The skater
lauded his exceptional performance in the 2010-2011 season and stated that “all of this was
accomplished after I had rehabbed a fractured T11 vertebrae sustained at the American Cup Final
in March of 2010.” 127 Later in the letter, the athlete attributed a May 2011 injury to
“overstressing my body as a result of training without the appropriate time for recovery.” 128 The
athlete did not mention discontent with Coach Chun.

        On or around April 9, 2012, USS carried out an athlete survey that asked the skaters
about various aspects of the program. Sixteen skaters completed the survey. 129 The survey
results show that most skaters were frustrated with funding, disappointed with the administration
and programs of USS, and felt that USS did not give them an opportunity to express their
opinions. Athletes were also frustrated over the way in which they were selected for races, and
felt that there was no accountability for decisions such as coaches’ picks. Reviews on Coach
Chun were mixed: some skaters felt that Coach Chun was qualified for the job, while some did
not, and skaters almost uniformly expressed that he was a very poor communicator, and was
inaccessible. Several comments on the survey directly echoed the complaints leveled against
Coach Chun in the unsigned skaters’ Amended and Restated Demand for Arbitration. 130 The


125
          One skater’s parent expressed that the root causes of the conflicts and tensions at USS were “90%
          inefficiency, corruption in the USS organization.” [−] interview, October 1, 2012.
126
          Letter from [−] to the Short-Track Committee, dated March 13, 2012, attached as Exhibit 8.
127
          Exhibit 8.
128
          Exhibit 8.
129
          It was intended that each skater would, individually, complete one survey. Some in USS have asserted that
          certain skaters filled out more than one survey, or that some skaters answered the surveys together. [−]
          interview, August 27, 2012; [−] interview September 5, 2012. The repetitive use of unusually similar
          language and the expression of nearly identical concerns provides some, but not conclusive, support for this
          contention.
130
          Amended and Restated Demand for Arbitration, dated September 27, 2012; Athletes Survey (short-track),
          conducted April 2012.

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average overall rating of Coach Chun was “moderately good,” although he received some harsh
reviews in the “comments” section. 131

         As mentioned, on April 10, 2012, the three USS Athlete Representatives wrote a letter to
the USS Board of Directors, expressing their concern, among other things, over (1) funding and
(2) the training environment. 132 In regard to funding, the athlete representatives expressed that
“athletes usually are not fully informed of how and why funds are spent in the way they are,” and
asked to be included in discussions relating to the High Performance Plan (which USS submits to
the USOC in order to receive funding) and the budget. The athlete representatives expressed
concern that too much money was spent on staff, and that while athletes’ funding depends on
performance, staff members were not evaluated in this way. The athletes explained that funding
cuts based on results were “hard for the top athletes to accept when they see the staff growing in
size and no one else having their [sic] salary cut to reflect these results.” Turning to the training
environment, the athletes further explained that the environment had become too negative, and
that the athletes felt burnt out. According to the letter, “[o]ver half of the World Team athletes
have said that if the training environment does not improve, they will find another place to
train.” 133

      On April 23, 2012, one of the now most vocal opponents of Coach Chun wrote a text
message to Coach Chun, which stated:

                   I know it is late. But I wanted to message you. I have
                   been on the phone all day with every athlete, we are all
                   united and will make our issues clear with [the USS
                   Executive Director] tomorrow morning. No issue with
                   [him] will reflect You [sic] negatively. The athletes
                   support you and believe in you 100% and we look forward
                   to this upcoming season. 134


131
          Athletes Survey (short-track), conducted April 2012.
132
          Exhibit 7.
133
          Exhibit 7.
134
          Text message from [−] to Jae Su Chun, dated April 23, 2012.

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        Coach Chun responded within thirty minutes, encouraging the skater to attend the
meeting in question. 135 In our interviews with him, the skater stated that he had long before
concluded – following an injury in late May 2011 where Coach Chun and USS had doubted that
he was really hurt – that he would never again train with Coach Chun. When asked about the
April 23, 2012 text message, the skater offered two explanations. First, “at that time, the issues
we had, had nothing to do with Jae Su,” and second, he felt that “it was necessary … to calm the
fire before things got out of hand.” 136

        On April 29, 2012, another athlete wrote to the then High-Performance Director and
outlined how his “dedication to being a team player is being completely undermined by receiving
no funding.” 137 This athlete expressed dismay that “the band that determines the funding
results” did not take into account his current ranking. This kind of frustration was also expressed
in the earlier letter to the USS Board of Directors, in which the athletes expressed their concerns
that “funding might be lost for a large portion of the Men’s National team based on results.”138
As part of discussions on the matter, USS’s response included statements that the funding came
down to the “cold hard facts of international results” 139 and that USS was “in no way trying to
denigrate your hard work, skating and will to win. But the results were just not there to include
you” in the desired funding band. 140 This athlete made no mention of Coach Chun’s training
program as the cause of these issues. Nor did he make any allegations of abuse.

        After a number of skaters decided not to sign their 2012-2013 contracts and to split from
NRP (discussed below), the athlete described in the previous paragraph lodged a formal
complaint against the High-Performance Director who had spoken with him, stating that the
official “provided FALSE and or INCOMPLETE information concerning my request for an



135
          Id.
136
          [−] interview, October 3, 2012.
137
          Exhibit 6.
138
          Exhibit 7.
139
          E-mail from [−] to [−], dated April 30, 2012, attached as Exhibit 9.
140
          Exhibit 4.

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explanation” of the USOC’s Direct Athlete Support system. 141 This complaint built on an earlier
funding complaint he had made on February 4, 2012, which pointed to a particular race at which
a USS teammate was in a breakaway and Coach Chun encouraged the athlete to work for the
teammate in the breakaway by slowing the pack down. Such a strategy would increase the
chances of a U.S. medal but hurt the athlete’s chances for one. Regardless of the merits of
Coach Chun strategic decision, the athlete stated that “I do not believe that it was premeditated
or planned out.” 142 No allegations of physical or mental abuse were made in either complaint.

        Thus, long before and through the spring of 2012, some of the skaters’ concerns and
accusations appeared to focus principally on funding problems, 143 their perception of
mismanagement (and the related notion that USS administrative employees were being paid too
much for doing too little), 144 their dissatisfaction with the USS rules, including the team selection
rules on discretionary spots 145 and the use of mass-start time trials as a selection criterion. 146
Frustration with the coaching staff by many accounts appeared to be a secondary matter. 147

        As one Olympic medalist who has been in both camps and who is not without serious
criticism of Coach Chun said, “it didn’t start out as Jae [Coach Chun], it really didn’t, but that’s
where it got to.” Now it’s about “making Jae as a scapegoat…I disagree with anyone who’s
trying to pin this all on Jae.” 148 One unsigned athlete stated that the breakaway group was



141
          [−] submission, dated July 14, 2012, attached as Exhibit 10 (emphasis in original).
142
          Complaint filed by [−] with USS on February 4, 2012.
143
          [−] interview, August 28, 2012; [−] interview, August 29, 2012; [−] interview, September 5, 2012; [−]
          interview, September 6, 2012; E-mail from [−] to [−], dated March 17, 2011; E-mail chain between
          [−],[−],[−], et al, dated January 2-14, 2011.
144
          Exhibit 7; [−] interview, September 18, 2012; [−] interview, August 29, 2012; [−] interview, August 27,
          2012.
145
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
146
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
147
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012; [−] interview, August 28, 2012; [−] interview, September 18, 2012; E-mail
          from [−] to [−], dated July 1, 2011, attached as Exhibit 11.
148
          [−], interview, September 18, 2012.

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initially considering signing and fixing things from within. 149 He stated that in the beginning,
the athletes wanted to make it work with Coach Chun. 150

                  8.       Spring of 2012

         During the spring of 2012, the top leadership of USS and its Board of Directors held a
series of meetings with the dissatisfied athletes, intentionally excluding USS athletic staff,
apparently to encourage frank discussions. 151 Coach Chun thought it important to address the
athletes’ concerns himself directly before the regular training season started on May 1, and asked
for and held a meeting with them on or around April 23, 2012. 152 According to one skater who
was present, Coach Chun asked everyone to tell him what was wrong. Many skaters were very
critical of him. Coach Chun reportedly said that he could not change who he is, but that he
would try to address all the concerns raised. 153

        The dissatisfied athletes saw certain of their contract provisions as a major problem. 154
On May 17, 2012, USS sent the athletes a new contract, which contained additional funding and
provisions for broader staff oversight in the team rules. 155 Nonetheless, events began to escalate
in the late spring. 156 Two skaters set up a Facebook group 157 to discuss the situation. According
to an Olympian in the signed group, hundreds of messages were posted from the breakaway
group, mostly from the two skaters who had established the group. One of them had never been




149
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
150
          Id.
151
          [−] interview, October 1, 2012.
152
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
153
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
154
          [−] interview, September 18, 2012.
155
          Cover Letter and Letter of Intent for 2012-2013 Short Track National Racing Program, dated May 17,
          2012, attached as Exhibit 12.
156
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012; [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
157
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.

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a member of the national team, 158 and another had not even been present at the Olympic Oval in
2011. 159 One of these skaters also set up a Google Documents drop-box on or around this time
and began to fill it with items related to the protest. 160

        Perhaps the crucial moment in the decision of some skaters to split from the NRP came at
a gathering of about 12 dissatisfied skaters in late May 2012, shortly before an extended signing
deadline. 161 There, it was agreed that any decision to break away would have to be unanimous,
and that if even one skater wanted to return to the NRP, then all would return. At this meeting,
Mr. Cho, who is Korean-American, appears to have explained that he was caught in the middle:
he did not want to return to the NRP but also faced severe personal and community pressure
under the Korean tradition of respect for elders and hierarchy to stay with Coach Chun. Mr. Cho
also appears to have voiced concern for his reputation if he did not go back to the NRP,
suggesting, without explaining, that Coach Chun had made him do “unspeakable” things. 162 At
this gathering, Mr. Cho indicated to the group that he had not signed with the NRP (implying
that he would not be signing to maintain group unity), when in fact he had signed two days
before. 163 On May 20, 2012, 12 skaters, including Mr. Cho, sent a public letter to USS stating
that they would not be signing their contracts with the NRP, 164 and the official schism in the
NRP began. 165

                  9.       The Schism Widens

        The unsigned skaters’ position seems to have shifted against Coach Chun and hardened
greatly during the course of the late spring and early summer. One unsigned skater commented

158
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012; E-mail from [−] to Short Track Selection Committee, dated April 29, 2012,
          attached as Exhibit 13; [−] interview, October 2, 2012.
159
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012; [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
160
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012; [−] interview, October 1, 2012.
161
          [−] interview, September 18, 2012; [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
162
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
163
          [−] interview, September 18, 2012; Letter of Intent to Join NRP, signed by Simon Cho on May 18, 2012.
164
          As stated, Mr. Cho had already signed with the USS at this point.
165
          E-mail from 12 speedskaters to USS Board of Directors, dated May 20, 2012, attached as Exhibit 14.

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that when invitations came out to join the NRP, the disaffected skaters held numerous meetings.
Although there “wasn’t a specific mention that we didn’t want to skate with Jae Su,” they did
want certain changes to the coaching environment. 166 However, by late summer, a number of the
boycotting skaters said that they would “never” skate with Coach Chun. 167 Thus, the
relationship between the unsigned skaters and their former coach deteriorated even after they
stopped skating with him. In the words of one skater who was at the April 23, 2012 meeting
with Coach Chun, after all of Coach Chun’s efforts to assure the athletes that he would address
their concerns, the unsigned athletes “didn’t even come [back] to see if he would do it.” 168 This
was echoed by a skater in the breakaway group who admitted that, despite listening to Coach
Chun’s promise to address the group’s concerns, “we didn’t want to give him a chance.” 169

        One skating professional who appears to be highly respected by all parties suggested an
explanation for the evolving dynamic over the summer: athletes’ stipends were getting cut and
that “left people disgruntled and fighting among themselves.” 170 He thought that the unsigned
skaters didn’t quite know what they wanted. They “were given some good concessions and
failed to call it a day,” and refused to return to the program and work for further
improvements. 171 He found it curious that some of the people now most vocally against Coach
Chun formerly “worshipped” him, and said he was “puzzled by their about-face.” 172 He stated
that problems with old injuries were getting laid at Coach Chun’s feet and that he cannot take
full blame for that as it was a question of mixed responsibility and causation. 173

       On June 4, 2012, the “breakaway group” of twelve athletes sent the USS Executive
Director an “Athlete’s Summary” document, encapsulating a breakaway group meeting which



166
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
167
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
168
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
169
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
170
          [−] interview, September 10, 2012.
171
          Id.
172
          [−] interview, September 11, 2012.
173
          Id.

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was held on June 1, 2012. 174 According to the document, the athletes “want no part of the NRP
until the coaching staff are replaced” and “are not willing to work with the coaching staff in
ANY capacity.” 175 The document suggests that the hardened position evolved out of attempts by
USS to pull select athletes from the breakaway group back to NRP, through the use of
“[e]xtortion, threat of defamation, coercion and dishonesty, etc.” 176 The athletes asked USS to
provide a third NRP coach, an additional training partner, and allow athletes to have a say in
coaching staff decisions and racing procedures. Furthermore, the group repeated that it would
move as a unit: either all 12 athletes would come back to NRP, or none would (even though
unbeknownst to it one member had returned to the NRP and another would shortly). 177 The size
and composition of the breakaway group would shrink and swell over the course of the coming
months, at one point rising to 19 athletes and subsequently settling back at 12. 178

       On June 12, 2012, the breakaway group sent a senior USS administrator an “Athlete’s
Position” document, summarizing the group’s position and demands, and expressing
disappointment over “the way the NRP issue has been handled.” The letter stressed that “[i]t
should be understood that there was no single reason or incident that led to this decision, but a
wide variety of complicated issues.” 179 The breakaway athletes requested support from USS for




174
          Athlete’s Summary sent to USS Executive Director on June 4, 2012, attached at Exhibit 15.
175
          Exhibit 15 (emphasis in original).
176
          Exhibit 15. It should be noted that Mr. Cho, one of the athletes against whom the tactics mentioned were
          allegedly leveled, is not a signatory to the Athlete’s Summary document. As mentioned earlier, he had
          signed his contract with the NRP on May 18, 2012.
177
          Exhibit 15. Another skater subsequently rejoined the NRP. On August 16, 2012, she expressed to
          Coach Chun her desire to return to the program. Text messages between [−] and Jae Su Chun, dated August
          16, 2012. On September 2, the Short-Track Committee approved the skater’s request to rejoin the NRP. E-
          mail from [−] to White & Case, dated October 3, 2012. Around this time, a newer athlete on the NRP was
          apparently told by certain members of the unsigned group that they would “disown” him if he skated with
          the National Team. [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
178
          Athlete’s Grievance filed against U.S. Speedskating, dated August 30, 2012; Amended and Restated
          Demand for Arbitration, filed September 27, 2012.
179
          Athlete’s Position sent to [−] on June 12, 2012, attached as Exhibit 16.

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their plan to train with other coaches in the FAST program at the Olympic Oval, in the form of
increased funding, a travel coach, and access to trainers, among other demands. 180


                  10.      The Unsigned Athletes’ Complaints Against Coach Chun

       As mentioned, the unsigned athletes’ concerns moved from issues over funding and
administration to allegations of physical and mental abuse by Coach Chun. Many of the events
underlying the unsigned athletes’ complaints against the coach occurred long before the schism
in USS took place, but were not raised at the time. Others are characterized as an on-going
course of conduct that would have presumably been taking place since Coach Chun’s arrival at
USS in 2007 through the end of the 2011-2012 season. While some of this conduct appears to
have caused some concern at the time, as far as can be determined, no formal complaints were
made at the time of any of the conduct in question, but only at the start of the 2012-2013 season.


          B.      Pushing an Athlete

        The most serious accusation of physical abuse arises from an event – physical contact
between Coach Chun and a skater in 2008 – that was not witnessed by any of the accusers.
Nonetheless, the group alleging physical abuse variably characterized the incident as Coach
Chun slamming the skater against the elevator wall, 181 Coach Chun beating him in the
elevator, 182 or having “shoved [him] against an elevator door by his neck” and having “taken
care of him.” 183

        The U.S. World Cup team competed at the 2008 World Short-Track Speedskating Team
Championships in March of that year. One evening, the squad was going out for a team dinner,
and it was extremely cold outside. An athlete was wearing just a T-shirt, and Coach Chun made




180
          Exhibit 16.
181
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
182
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
183
          Amended and Restated Demand for Arbitration, filed September 27, 2012.

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him return to his hotel room to get a jacket. 184 The athlete took an unduly long time to return,
keeping the entire group of skaters waiting. 185

         When the athlete ultimately returned with his jacket, out of sight of the team Coach Chun
explained that he was making him dress warmly for his own good. This skater expressed what
Coach Chun described as a “really negative attitude,” was not listening, and was talking back to
the coach. 186 One of the unsigned skaters corroborates Coach Chun’s evaluation of the athlete’s
behavior. 187 Coach Chun twice pushed the skater against the wall near the elevator in the hotel
and essentially told him to stop it and that the whole team was waiting for him. The skater
himself, who is not part of the unsigned group and did not file any complaints against Coach
Chun then or now, corroborates this version of events. He stated that Coach Chun twice bumped
him against the wall without causing him any physical harm, adding that the description of the
incident with Coach Chun had been overstated and that he and Coach Chun essentially agreed on
how the incident had occurred. 188 On March 16, 2008, the U.S. men’s team won the World
Team Championship, which is comprised of races in each of the official distances, for the first
time. 189 Coach Chun said that both the skater and Coach Chun apologized for their parts of the
incident and put the matter aside. 190


          C.      Denying Water

       At least four of the unsigned athletes claimed that Coach Chun denied water to a
teenaged NRP member during an uphill workout in the summer of 2011. 191 Two unsigned



184
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
185
          Id.
186
          Id.
187
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
188
          [−] interview, September 10, 2012.
189
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
190
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
191
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012; [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−]
          interview, September 7, 2012.

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skaters said this happened on an uphill run, 192 one said it happened during uphill bicycle
training 193 and one did not specify. 194 Coach Chun said that he never denied skaters water under
any circumstances. He stated that on land workouts he is often overstretched, in his car, trying to
provide cover to everyone. Coach Chun added that he would not joke about something like
hydration, stating that “I’m not play like that.” 195 One unsigned skater claimed that he saw
Coach Chun deny the skater the water as he rode by Coach Chun’s van on his bicycle. 196 One
USS staffer who likely should have known of such an incident stated that he never heard
anything about such an event at the time, particularly from the skater in question. 197

        The athlete in question is signed with the NRP and is a minor. She was repeatedly
invited to speak with White & Case but her mother did not wish her to be interviewed for this
Report.


          D.      Pouring Water on an Athlete’s Head and Throwing a Binder

       The U.S. team was competing at a World Cup race in Montreal, Canada in the fall of
2010. On the first day of competition a skater won a gold medal in an earlier race. According to
Coach Chun, this athlete is one of the fastest U.S. skaters but is often hampered by emotion-
control issues, which can lead to falls or erratic performances. 198 On the second day of the
World Cup, October 24, 2010, the skater was bumped in a race, hit one of the blocks, stopped
skating and did not finish the race with one lap to go. 199 Coach Chun noted that this type of
emotional behavior was exactly the issue that the skater wanted and needed to address. After the



192
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012. [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
193
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
194
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
195
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
196
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
197
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
198
          According to Coach Chun, this skater asked him to “please fix my head issues.” [−] interview, September
          7, 2012.
199
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.

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race, Coach Chun was upset with the skater and asked him rhetorically why he stopped with one
lap to go. According to Coach Chun, the skater stated that he was sorry and would not do it
again. 200 Coach Chun was disappointed for him because Coach Chun believed that the skater
could have won the final, and now he would be skating only in the B final. 201

        This skater and his teammates had a relay coming up in some 30 minutes. 202 Coach
Chun went into the locker room and observed the athlete for about 30 seconds. According to
Coach Chun, the skater had his head down and looked defeated. Coach Chun became angry and
upset, threw down his binder and his papers came out. 203 He approached the athlete and told him
to wake up and poured water from his water bottle on the athlete’s head. The reports varied on
the amount of water poured on the athlete’s head. 204 There were other skaters from the U.S.
team around as well as some Canadians. 205 According to Coach Chun and others, Coach Chun
subsequently apologized to the skater about the incident and thought that it was resolved. 206

        The skater does not recall any apology and stated in his interview that he felt stunned and
humiliated at the time by Coach Chun’s action. He stated that Coach Chun threw his binder on
the ground in the skater’s direction and poured a full bottle of water on his head, 207 not the 25-
30% of a bottle that Coach Chun suggested. 208 The skater said that he was in shock after this
happened and sat there, wet, just looking at his hands. 209 He went on to win the B final some
thirty minutes later. 210


200
          Id.
201
          Id.
202
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
203
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
204
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
205
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
206
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012; [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
207
          E-mail from [−] to [−], dated May 28, 2012, attached as Exhibit 17.
208
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
209
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
210
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.

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         The athlete in question made no complaint about this incident until May 28, 2012, when
he sent an e-mail to the USS President. 211 In that e-mail the athlete explained that his failure to
complain sooner was due to fear of retribution by the staff on “funding, team selection, training,
and other opportunities available.” 212 This athlete also listed Jack Mortell, Chris Weaver and
Nicole Detling as among the staff witnesses to the water-bottle incident. 213 Mr. Mortell did not
witness the event; he was in Chicago at the time. 214 Mr. Weaver did not witness the event; he
was in Milwaukee at the time. 215 Although Ms. Detling was at the meet in Montreal, she said
she did not witness the event because she was not present in the locker room when it took
place. 216 None of these parties, nor the other athletes interviewed, said that he or she saw Coach
Chun throw the notebook binder at the athlete in question, as stated in the Amended and Restated
Demand for Arbitration, dated September 27, 2012. 217

          E.       Comments about Weight

       Success in speedskating depends significantly on possessing a lean body with a very high
power-to-weight ratio. Put simply, every extra pound of fat on a skater’s body is an extra pound


211
          Exhibit 17. In the e-mail, the athlete described the water-bottle incident, and also complained about several
          other issues that collectively “have been a pattern of myself and other athletes being exploited and taken
          advantage of by US Speedskating Short Track Staff members, who are in a position of authority over the
          athletes.”
212
          Id.
213
          Id.
214
          [−] interview, August 29, 2012.
215
          [−] interview, September 24, 2012; E-mail from Chris Weaver to Jae Su Chun, dated October 8, 2010,
          attached as Exhibit 18.
216
          The athlete’s letter of complaint to the USS President containing the inaccurate witness list was placed on
          the Google Documents site mentioned earlier and otherwise distributed among the athletes. [−] interview,
          September 5, 2012; [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
217
          In a police report that this athlete filed against Coach Chun, in the presence of his attorney, on September
          14, 2012 (roughly two years after the incident occurred), it is recorded that the binder was thrown “to the
          ground in the direction of [the athlete].” Police Report filed by [−] against Jae Su Chun, dated September
          14, 2012, attached as Exhibit 19.

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that the skater is expending energy to carry around the oval. National-caliber speedskaters have
their body composition (muscle and fat percentages) tested regularly, and these measurements
are an important component in planning training and diet. 218

        At the beginning of his tenure with USS, Coach Chun was extremely blunt with skaters
who registered a high body-fat content during tests. He would review the body-composition
readings and tell skaters that they were “fat” or “too fat” or other variations on this theme.219
One neutral observer seemingly trusted by both camps stated that “in short-track the sport has
turned into a strength-to-weight ratio game, and your body fat and composition [are] key to
success.” 220 Because weight is treated in such a technical way, in the early days Coach Chun did
not see discussing the issue any differently than telling someone in a group “you need to tie your
shoes.” 221

       With time, Coach Chun learned that this topic can be very sensitive for young American
women. 222 Early on, a female staff member explained to Coach Chun the pitfalls of a direct
approach on this topic, and together they discussed different approaches and language that could
be used. 223 This staffer and others have seen improvements in how Coach Chun deals with the
body-composition issue, particularly in using terms other than the word “fat” or having female
colleagues handle such discussions with female skaters. 224 Coach Chun said that he now uses
phrases like, “your numbers are too high” or “you need to get the composition down.” 225 Coach


218
          [−] interview, September 10, 2012.
219
          [−] interview, September 10, 2012; [−] interview, September 7, 2012; [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
220
          [−] interview, September 10, 2012.
221
          Id.; [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
222
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012. A female USS staffer stated unequivocally that the female skaters in
          question did have too high a body-fat content, but that Coach Chun did not initially handle the matter in the
          most sensitive way.
223
          Coach Chun speaks understandable, but heavily accented English, and is not able to express nuance with
          his limited command of English.
224
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012; [−] interview, September 5, 2012; A female staffer noted rhetorically,
          “what guy is going to be able to talk about weight with a woman?” [−] interview, September 5, 2012
225
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012.

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Chun also stated that the world’s top women skaters have between 10% and 13.5% body fat but
that some of the U.S. women were at 20%. 226 A male observer also stated that Coach Chun has
become much more sensitive to the women’s perception of this issue and any questions about
body composition are done now in private, one-to-one. 227 This person said that Coach Chun
prefers to have women speak with women about the issue and thus relies on female staff
members to broach this topic. 228 Coach Chun stated that he tried to never use the word “fat”
after realizing how sensitive it was. 229

        The question of calling female athletes “fat,” using other such terms relating to weight, or
simply talking about body-fat issues was of major concern to the unsigned athletes and seemed
to cause stress, anxiety and embarrassment to some of them. 230 But the female skaters who the
unsigned group cited most often as bearing the brunt of Coach Chun’s poorly chosen words on
this topic all remained in the NRP under Coach Chun’s coaching. These signed female skaters
were quite blunt about the situation and their motivations. For example, one stated that she has a
singular goal – to win. 231 She, echoed by another skater, commented that if she thought that
Coach Chun and Assistant Coach Yeo were that bad, she would not stick around, and she never
mentioned anything about issues related to body-fat content or discussions about it. 232

      The unsigned skaters levied specific claims on abusive language. One was that Coach
Chun said that one skater looked like “tofu.” The skater in question remained at the NRP, never



226
          Id. This notion is supported by at least one study from the mid-1980’s, which found that the average body
          fat for female Olympic athletes participating in events such as Track & Field was 13.7%.
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6650717 (last visited on December 28, 2012).
227
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
228
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
229
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012. Coach Chun initially stated that he “never” subsequently used the word
          “fat” with female team members, but when pressed backed away from this categorical statement.
230
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012; [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
231
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
232
          Id.; [−] interview, August 27, 2012. Both skaters were top women’s performers at the World Cup trials on
          September 27, 2012 and both signed a public statement in support of Coach Chun and Assistant Coach Yeo
          dated September 18, 2012, attached as Exhibit 20.

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mentioned any concern about insensitivities to weight, signed a public letter of support for Coach
Chun and performed in the top five at the time-trial for the World Cup. 233 A male unsigned
skater claimed that Coach Chun told a female skater that her start (the kick-off to begin a race in
which momentum is gathered and during which movement is awkward as skaters run, instead of
glide, on the ice) was improving in that she did not look like an elephant, but a fat deer. 234 The
female skater remained at the NRP, never mentioned any concern about insensitivities to weight,
signed a public letter of support for Coach Chun and performed in the top five at the time-trial
for the World Cup. 235

        Coach Chun appears to have used similar language related to “fat” or “cows” with the
male skaters as well. For example, Coach Chun was instructing one of the signed male skaters to
pass others on the ice less aggressively and more subtly. Because good positioning is key to
speedskating success, Coach Chun said, “You need to pass like a mouse, not like a cow.” The
skater in question said that the comment did not bother him at all, although allowed that it might
upset a “girl.” He believed that the comment was made to help him. 236 Only one man who was
told that his body fat was too high took umbrage. This skater stated that in October 2011 he was
so overtrained by Coach Chun that his body composition was changing, gaining fat and losing
lean muscle mass. His fatigue got worse and he could not skate as previously. He was told his
body fat was too high even though he thought it was at a very low percentage. 237


          F.      Non-Communication

       In a sport as dangerous, demanding and technical as short-track speedskating, athletes
place high value on having a rapport with their coach and being able to communicate about their
performance, training, concerns and feelings.



233
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012; Exhibit 20; Ladies 2013 U.S. Single Distance Short Track Championships
          Results (1000 Meter Time-Trial), dated September 27, 2012, attached as Exhibit 21.
234
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
235
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012; Exhibit 20; Exhibit 21.
236
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
237
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.

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        Several unsigned athletes have remarked that Coach Chun would frequently ignore them,
especially after poor performances. 238 According to one unsigned athlete, Coach Chun would be
friendly and communicative when the athlete was performing well, but if he fared poorly, Coach
Chun would claim that the athlete was not “listening to him or respecting him” and would begin
to ignore him. 239 According to another unsigned athlete, Coach Chun refused to engage with
him after he returned to practice following an injury. 240 Another athlete claimed that on her first
day back after recovering from a broken leg, Coach Chun refused to acknowledge her. When the
athlete asked why he was ignoring her, Coach Chun told her that he did not have to explain
himself. 241 Another athlete says that when she asked Coach Chun why he had been ignoring her
for several days, he told her that he was mad at her, but would not specify why. 242 Other athletes
complained that Coach Chun was absent during critical times immediately before the start of a
race, when a coach usually talks strategy with the athlete. 243 One seemingly well-respected
neutral observer said Coach Chun would ignore athletes who he felt did not show a sufficient
focus or commitment to the team. 244

        When asked about these allegations, Coach Chun stated that he was not a recreational
coach and expects a lot from his athletes and wants to inspire them to higher achievement. He
noted that “one may train at 10/10, some of 8/10 some of 5/10 and so I do my job for everyone at
80% but those who want the full 100%, I’m there for them too. But those who don’t want 100%,
but want 50%, this is the athlete’s responsibility then.” 245 He added that it is stressful for the
“50% people” because they see the others going at 80% and 100%, and they get more negative.
For this reason, Coach Chun wanted to bring on another assistant coach, who could work with



238
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−] interview, September 7, 2012; [−]
          interview, September 18, 2012.
239
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
240
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
241
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
242
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
243
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
244
          [−] interview, September 10, 2012.
245
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.

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the second group. 246 He attributes much of the problem to limited resources: with an increase to
24 athletes and only two coaches, 247 time and attention were precious commodities, and it
became impossible to devote sufficient focus to every athlete. Coach Chun said that he asked
repeatedly for an additional coach to help solve this problem, but when he did not get one, he
was forced to choose which athletes to concentrate on. 248 Athletes who were trying their hardest,
performing well and gaining momentum were the ones who got a greater share of Coach Chun’s
attention. 249 Coach Chun said he was trying his best in a situation that both sides agree was
untenable on account of too many athletes and too few coaches. 250

        The problem appears to have been further exacerbated by the fact that, just the previous
year, there had been approximately half the number of athletes, and three coaches. According to
at least one USS administrator, the athletes grew used to a large amount of individualized
attention, and became agitated when the group swelled and Coach Chun was no longer able to
devote as much time to each of them, as before. 251 Coach Chun echoes this sentiment, citing a
case where a top-performing athlete’s father complained that the athlete should be getting more
attention from Coach Chun. 252 An unsigned athlete says that the top performing athlete in



246
          Id.
247
          This Report takes no view on the soundness of extending a larger number of invitations to the NRP at the
          beginning of the 2012-2013 season.
248
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
249
          Id.
250
          [−] interview, September 10, 2012; [−] interview, September 6, 2012. It is clear that communication
          problems between Coach Chun and the athletes aggravated many of the problems. In the athletes’ survey
          conducted in April 2012, one stated that “his inability to effectively communicate with athletes has been a
          major weakness in my ability to interact with him and reach my full potential as an athlete.” Athlete
          Survey (short-track), conducted April 2012. As mentioned, Coach Chun speaks basic English. In his
          second interview with White & Case, he chose to bring an interpreter, although he only relied on him at
          times. The presence of two native-English-speaking assistant coaches at USS until the spring of 2011
          appears to have acted as an important conduit for precise communication. Assistant Coach Yeo has great
          difficulty with English and cannot be relied upon to communicate nuance in it. [−] interview, August 27,
          2012.
251
          [−] interview, August 29, 2012.
252
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.

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question stopped getting as much attention once another highly talented athlete came on the
scene. 253

        Several athletes felt that if they made Coach Chun angry, he would stop paying attention
to them. This could lead to not being skated in races, being passed over for coaches’ picks, and
potentially losing funding. 254


          G.       Allegations of Abuse on the Ice

                   1.       Overtraining and Mandatory Training Despite Injuries

        The unsigned athletes have cast their allegations that Coach Chun committed abuse
related to training in the most serious of terms, blaming him for injuries, poor performances,
embarrassment and the loss of funding. 255

        One unsigned male skater accused Coach Chun of training him “into the ground” after
he returned to the NRP in 2011. 256 He held Coach Chun responsible for causing him to require a
“$100,000” surgery on his back so that he could “walk again.” 257 This skater stated that he
begged the trainers to speak with Coach Chun, and that Coach Chun accused the skater’s doctors
of being liars and stated that “science doesn’t know short-track” skating. 258 According to the

253
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
254
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
255
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012; [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−]
          interview, September 6, 2012.
256
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
257
          Id. The skater also removed, without authorization, his medical records from the USS filing system. E-
          mail from [−] to various USS recipients dated September 17, 2012, attached as Exhibit 22.
258
          Id. Despite his injuries, this skater appears at the time to have obtaining funding through a new rule geared
          to “medal-contenders.” He stated that notwithstanding his injuries, USS personnel other that Coach Chun
          required him to skate and train to receive the benefits. They allegedly also required the skater to prove that
          he was injured, which the skater did, and left the ultimate decision on whether the skater would compete to
          the USS Short-Track Committee, the body charged with such matters. The skater ultimately did not skate
          in his events at the 2012 World Championship. [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−] interview, September
          25, 2012.

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Amended and Restated Demand for Arbitration, doctor’s notes concerning this skater’s injuries
have been thrown out and the skater was directed by USS Coaches to push through injuries to
the point where he suffered further injury requiring surgery (the cost of which was not covered
by USS). 259 This skater also raised an overtraining issue from 2007, Coach Chun’s first year
with USS, and the hardest year of the four-year Olympic training cycle. The athlete said that he
was “overtrained within a month” of the start of conditioning then under Coach Chun and was
“tested and found to be anemic and told to stop training immediately.” 260 This skater had serious
back problems going back to at least May 2007. 261

        Another male skater in the unsigned group referenced the numerous skating injuries that
he had incurred during the course of a long career, with a number of them preceding any contact
with Coach Chun. A more recent injury comprised tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in a
freak accident at a birthday party. Apparently the athlete was sumo wrestling in a padded suit
with another speedskating professional and took a bad step, hurting himself seriously. He said
that Coach Chun believed that it was the athlete’s fault for getting hurt and, essentially, because
of this put him on the back-burner of attention. 262 This athlete also recalled a World Cup event
in 2009 where he fell extremely hard and the trainer at the time told him he likely had a
concussion and that it was not a good idea to skate further. According to the athlete, Coach
Chun convinced the athlete that he could skate, and he did. 263 This skater also suggested that
two female skaters who trained under Coach Chun and who chose to remain with the NRP had
not lived up to their potential because they were overtrained. 264


259
          Amended and Restated Demand for Arbitration, dated September 27, 2012.
260
          Id. It is an open question beyond the scope of this Report whether this athlete is confusing cause and effect
          with regard to his anemia and overtraining.
261
          E-mail from [−] to [−], dated May 15, 2007, attached as Exhibit 23. One of the signed skaters pointed out
          that she had heard that people were blaming Coach Chun for their injuries, often about their backs, but
          added that “we are hunched over unnaturally for two hours a day” and those kinds of injuries are common.
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
262
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
263
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
264
          Both female skaters won Olympic medals in 2010 and have been selected for the 2012-2013 World Cup
          team. A female breakaway skater seconded the notion that the U.S. women’s team was overtrained going
          into the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. She said that women who did perform well at that Olympics were the

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        Referencing the summer of 2011, a third unsigned male skater stated that he was so
overtrained that he could barely handle “half of what [he had been] doing.” 265 Another skater
commented that around this time – which coincided with the trainer turnover– he started to see
his performance drop sharply, and felt fatigue like he had never felt before. The athlete
discussed the situation with many people who told him to remember that the team was working
hard to build a base for the next seasons. But in the fall this athlete’s fatigue got so bad that he
“couldn’t skate two laps with the girls.” He said that his body composition was changing, and
that he was gaining fat and losing lean muscle mass and that this effect was caused by his body
producing cortisol due to the stress he was enduring. 266

        An Olympic medalist who had been in both camps stated that she has genetically bad
hips, and the condition has been made worse by speedskating generally. She explained that she
did not believe that training under Coach Chun caused or exacerbated her injuries, but that the
lack of trainer support was a serious problem. She added that she had felt at times that the
athletic trainers may not have always had her best interests in mind and may have been more
interested in simply “get[ting] her up” for skating – meaning, able to work out. 267 While this
skater was critical of some of Coach Chun’s methods and approaches, she also stated, “I disagree
with anyone who’s trying to pin this all on [Coach Chun].” 268


                  2.       Stealing the Joy from the Sport

       A number of the unsigned skaters described how Coach Chun’s training regime and
behavior took the joy of speedskating from them. 269 One, a veteran and an Olympian, focused
on the difficulties of the 2011 summer training regimen. This skater said that 2011 was not an


          ones who had their own training program. This female athlete nonetheless won a medal at those Games.
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
265
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
266
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
267
          [−] interview, September 18, 2012.
268
          Id.
269
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012; [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−] interview, September 7, 2012.

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enjoyable or cohesive year and that the training program had been relentless. He also expressed
the idea that if a team is having fun together, it will skate better. The 2011-2012 season was the
first time that he had been hurt and said that the absence of a regular trainer was a “huge
issue.” 270 This was echoed by other unsigned athletes who felt that the training regime, injuries
and poor results in competition in 2011-2012 detracted from their love and passion for the
sport. 271


                   3.       Criticizing the Athletes

        A number of the unsigned athletes have expressed concern over Coach Chun disparaging
 them in private and in public. 272 One male member of this group said that Coach Chun has
 called him a kindergartner and questioned his commitment. The skater recalled an incident
 where Coach Chun thought that he was not getting low enough during a dry-land squatting
 exercise, became angry, and told the athlete that this was the reason he would never put the
 athlete on the team. 273 Another skater recalled being called “lazy,” 274 at least one skater
 remembered Coach Chun telling her that she was not good enough 275 and several of the
 unsigned skaters suggested that Coach Chun was generally harsh and critical of them in public,
 including using the word “stupid.” 276 One of the female unsigned skaters asserted that Coach


270
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012. Everyone agrees on the difficulty of the 2011 conditioning season, and
          Coach Chun himself had admitted that there had been some overtraining during this period, but added that
          overtraining is a complex and individualized matter. He commented, in substance, that if you are the
          recreational level, you can consistently train easy and eat what you want. If you are elite, you have to push
          to the top sometimes. For example, he analogized, you can pass your hand over a candle and not get
          burned, but if you keep it there, you’ll get burned. It’s the same with training. He noted that the women
          had their best results in 2011, but the men had injuries and some misdiagnoses. [−] interview, September 7,
          2012.
271
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012; [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−] interview, September 7, 2012; [−]
          interview, September 5, 2012; [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
272
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−] interview, September 5, 2012; [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
273
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
274
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
275
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
276
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.

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 Chun told athletes that they are the worst on the team or no good, but when pressed said that she
 herself never heard Coach Chun use these words with skaters. 277 Other skaters recalled Coach
 Chun telling one of the fastest skaters in the entire program that he was “no good” but as this
 was said to someone with such talent, it was understood, at least by Coach Chun, that the
 comment could not have been meant literally. 278 Coach Chun stated that he has used the word
 “stupid” with athletes he is closer with, in the context of “skating stupid” or not using one’s
 brain. 279


                  4.        Punishment Training

         One unsigned skater described being sick to his stomach and doubled over with pain
before a training session in fall 2009. He stated that Coach Chun and the trainer at the time
would not let him go to the bathroom despite his frequent requests, and instructed him to lead a
fast four-lap element around the oval, which he did. Upon completing it, the athlete lost control
of his bowels and defecated “a small amount” in his skating suit. 280 A member of the USS
administration who was present at the time had never heard that this occurred. He said that such
a situation would be a “big thing” and that he would have heard of it if it had happened. 281
Coach Chun, while sensitive to any embarrassment that such an incident could have caused, said
that he could not be responsible for each skater’s bathroom schedule. He did not recall ever
forbidding an athlete to use the bathroom, and stated that sometimes skaters just leave the ice to
go, sometimes they inform that they are going or ask to go, and sometimes they do so at the
break. 282




277
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
278
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012; [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
279
          [−] interview, August 29, 2012; [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
280
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012. This athlete, in the presence of the attorney for the breakaway skaters,
          also attempted to bring criminal charges in September 2012 against Mr. Chun over this incident and others.
          Exhibit 19.
281
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
282
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.

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       Another unsigned skater stated that Coach Chun required him and another skater to
“repeat a drill for about an hour because he said we didn’t do the drill properly in practice.”283
The second skater was interviewed and made a number of criticisms of Coach Chun, but never
mentioned this incident. The first skater also mentioned being forced to do “suicides” on the ice
when “he couldn’t keep up at practice” and stated that these exercises damaged his blades, which
“required a lot of work to fix.”284 A coach who appears to be respected by all sides and
frequently deals with athletes’ equipment states unequivocally that he had not seen Coach Chun
punishing skaters with useless physical work, and had not seen him demean anyone. 285


          H.       The Perspective from the NRP

        As addressed above, all concerned agree that not having consistent trainer support during
the heavy 2011-2012 conditioning season was a serious problem, and led to under-recovery,
which is the flip side of overtraining. It appears that this issue was most acute for a limited
period of time. As one Olympian who has been on both sides of the situation stated, the worst
period for overtraining and insufficient recovery was roughly from May 2011 to August 2011. 286
A seemingly respected hands-on USS professional noted that at the time of many of the
allegations in question (2010 and 2011) he did not hear of any abusive training or
overtraining. 287 He also pointed out that a lot of training at the national or Olympic level “has to
really hurt” and that if there were problems, there was always support staff available to listen.
He stated that USS regularly monitors power and strength and if it were to observe a decline over
an extended period of time, it would discuss the matter as a group and back the training down.
This person suggested that Coach Chun knows how to get the most out of the athletes and has
their best interests at heart, but also knows when to cut back. 288




283
          Letter from [−] to [−], dated August 8, 2012.
284
          Id.
285
          [−] interview, September 10, 2012.
286
          [−] interview, September 18, 2012.
287
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
288
          Id. The notion that Coach Chun knows how to get the most out of his athletes was echoed widely. A two-
          time Olympian stated that Coach Chun knows who and how to push. She had seen him over five years and

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          One skater stated that the atmosphere and training in the summer of 2011 was no harder
than the program from which he came to join the NRP, was no worse than what one would get
from a football or hockey coach, and was “not half as bad as the Jets training camp.” 289 He said
that Coach Chun’s system works, he trusted Coach Chun and that if Coach Chun ever told him to
do something that he thought would hurt him, he would not hesitate or be afraid to say so and not
do it. 290 He stated that a number of the injuries from 2011 were either pre-existing, or obtained
through bad falls in competition, and not due to overtraining or under-recovery. 291 He suggested
that the unsigned group wants to control its own training and set the bar low so that it can exceed
expectations, and that the work and discipline that it complains of are normal in any team,
particularly one at the national or Olympic level. 292 This skater lauded the endurance-and-
strength program undertaken in 2011-2012 that was highly criticized by the unsigned group. 293

       One of the best signed female skaters commented that she has trained for years with
many coaches and that “certainly things happen when you’re training.” 294 She offered that if she
thought that Coach Chun and Assistant Coach Yeo were bad for her career and health, she would
not remain with them. Under them, she noted, her skating has been getting progressively better:
“Have I been pushed – yeah! Name me a coach who says, ‘you’re tired, ok let’s stop for



          said he knows how to read the athletes. She also stated that Coach Chun could be harder with her because
          he knows that she will not cry, as many of the other women do. [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
289
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012. Another skater in the signed group echoed this sentiment, stating that the
          television series “Hard Knocks” is much worse than anything he ever saw in training, and that the skaters
          are harder on each other than the coach is on them. [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
290
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
291
          Id.
292
          Id. More troubling in his mind was the notion that the unsigned group would not even try to work with
          Coach Chun, after he had listened to their concerns and made adjustments.
293
          Id. This skater suggested that each of the unsigned persons had his own reasons for leaving – personal
          dislike of Coach Chun, inability to keep up with the workouts due to getting older, want of talent. He
          stated that it would be unfortunate to lower the level of the United States National Team just to
          accommodate.
294
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.

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today.’” 295 This skater stated that her progress tells her to move forward with these coaches.
She pointed out that Coach Chun himself said that the 2011-2012 training was too much, but
everyone knew that it was the hardest year in the four-year Olympic cycle. Her view was that
“[i]f you don’t try it, you don’t know, and some of those crying the loudest aren’t here.” 296
Another added that “the Koreans are the best, and we want to train like them.” 297

        Skaters agreed that the harder athletes work and the better they perform, the more latitude
that they have to push back with Coach Chun on the training regime. 298 For example, one
veteran unsigned skater was comfortable telling Coach Chun that he would bicycle instead of run
during a land workout. 299 In another example, a signed female skater had had problems with her
leg for a time. She stated that no one made her train, adding “but I don’t cry wolf all the
time.” 300 “We’re at an elite level,” she continued, and if people do not want to train hard, they
should “go join the farm team. We’ve got world-class coaches. The last thing we want to do is
lose them. Why are [the unsigned athletes] doing this now, just because they had a bad year?”301
This skater was adamant that the only emotional abuse she was suffering this year was from the
unsigned group “messing with our training” by trying to take her coach away. She underscored
that she has “skated my fastest times this year,” and that the skaters who have remained at the
NRP all have one goal and “have respect for each other. The others have no boundaries.” 302 Her
sentiment was echoed by other members of the signed group. One said, in essence, that it seems
like the unsigned group has put all of the USS problems on Coach Chun and “kind of made him
into a scapegoat.” He never felt overtrained, or that Coach Chun was not looking out for his best
interests. To him it was “just training.” He concluded: “I’m not angry at their leaving, I’m


295
          Id.
296
          Id.
297
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
298
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012; [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
299
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
300
          Other signed skaters hinted at malingering by the breakaway group. One alleged, for example, that a
          member of the unsigned group got a concussion and “milked it out to avoid training.” [−] interview, August
          27, 2012.
301
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
302
          Id.

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angry at them for trying to destroy our program. We’re all doing better than ever. I just want
them to leave us alone to train.” 303

        Another signed athlete, who is also skating his fastest ever under Coach Chun, also does
not believe he has been overtrained. He noted that Coach Chun had met with the all the athletes
early in the 2012-2013 season before the schism, acknowledged that some of the athletes trained
too hard in summer 2011 and apologized for any misunderstandings. In this athlete’s estimation,
as soon as Coach Chun and the coaching staff realized that people were pushing too hard, they
backed the training down. 304 He also underscored that it is important to “set the bar for the
strongest skater,” but, for example, he said that if Coach Chun called for six laps at a certain pace
he did not expect all the athletes to be able to do it. 305 This athlete acknowledged that 2011 was
a tough year for USS, and it included some freak accidents. He believed that a number of the
unsigned athletes were blaming Coach Chun for injuries that they already had, and commented
that USS performs many physical tests and check-ups on the athletes to ensure their well-
being. 306 For him, any time that Coach Chun had expressed anger at the team was justified. 307


303
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
304
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012. This athlete believed that the absence of regular training staff in summer
          2011 was so important to understanding the overall situation that he called White & Case after his
          interview to alert it to the issue.
305
          This skater also suggested that some of the unsigned group “wanted more compliments” from the coach.
          He referenced a training race in which an unsigned skater won, but her teammate took only fourth and
          Coach Chun was upset for the latter athlete because she did not do as well as she had hoped. In this
          skater’s view, Coach Chun’s being concerned about the fourth-place finisher showed that he worried about
          all the athletes. [−] interview, August 27, 2012. In any event, this skater noted that Coach Chun said at the
          team meeting where overtraining was addressed that he would try to be more complimentary as a general
          matter. Id.
306
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
307
          This athlete noted something that was echoed universally: Coach Chun does not curse and will not tolerate
          cursing at USS and has shut down practice when skaters use foul language. [−] interview, August 27,
          2012; [−] interview, September 7, 2012; [−] interview, August 27, 2012; [−] interview, August 27, 2012. A
          two-time Olympian, when asked what the worst thing the skater had ever seen Coach Chun do, stated that
          at a team meeting, a skater screamed a potent four-letter word at the top of his lungs so that the entire oval
          heard it. Coach Chun got very upset over this and cancelled practice. [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
          Another signed skater said that the worst thing she had ever seen Coach Chun do was throw a squeegee on
          the ice in frustration when a skater messed up. That same skater said she would have no problem telling

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This athlete suggested that the sport of speedskating is changing and Coach Chun “sees where
it’s going and wants to bring us there.” 308

         For his part, Coach Chun stated that he never forced anyone to train or compete with a
diagnosed medical problem and if skaters said they had a problem, he made them stop. He
would rely on the recommendations of the USS medical team and outside doctors’ reports and
tell athletes to always listen to their bodies. 309 This assessment was corroborated by essentially
all of the USS professional staff who dealt with the athletes’ physical regimen. 310 There were
notable misdiagnoses, 311 and Coach Chun was furious about the problems with the trainers in



          Coach Chun if some part of her training program were not working, or if some element needed to be moved
          to another day. [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
308
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012. The athlete entreated the unsigned skaters to be more open-minded and
          shared a position frequently advanced by the signed group that one skater in particular who had a years-
          long grudge against Coach Chun (and Korean coaches in general) was the driving force behind the
          movement to oust Coach Chun. The current trainer shares this skater’s positive view on Coach Chun’s
          coaching. Although hired only recently, he said that he is on the ice “100% of the time” and noted that
          Coach Chun is “intense – absolutely – and should be: he’s the national team coach.” This person, who has
          worked with other U.S. National Teams, said that he had seen “100 times worse” from other coaches.
          From his vantage point he never found Coach Chun demeaning and “kind of in the middle as coaches go.”
          This person stated that he is in a place in his career and confidence-level that he would have no problem
          saying something if he felt that Coach Chun were pushing too hard, and he has not believed it necessary.
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012. Other skaters in the unsigned group have countered that Coach Chun is on
          his best behavior since the schism and this is all that the current trainer has seen. [−] interview, September
          6, 2012.
309
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012. Coach Chun said that if the medical team gave clearance or the athletes
          said they are fine, then Coach Chun allowed them to train. If the “medical team says some problem, I make
          a stop.” Addressing one athlete’s back problems, Coach Chun said that the skater in question showed him
          his medical report, and the two discussed it and Coach Chun said that the skater should only do what he can
          do. Id. At the same time, according to some athletes, Coach Chun would express how disappointed he was
          in certain injured athletes that they could not skate. [−] interview, September 18, 2012. Such words from a
          strong coach to highly motivated world-class athletes can send a mixed signal.
310
          [−] interview, September 25, 2012; [−] interview, August 27, 2012; [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
311
          One example concerns a fall that one of the best performers on the team took in a World Cup race overseas.
          Coach Chun said that he sent the athlete to the overseas hospital for x-rays and the doctors said he looked
          fine. The trainer then said that the athlete could race. Nonetheless the athlete, who has an enormous pain
          threshold, was in significant discomfort and ultimately withdrew from subsequent competition overseas and

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2011. But Coach Chun stated pointedly that “people are lying” if they say that he made them
work out if they had a medical problem. 312

        One trainer from a different division of USS to whom short-trackers often come for
advice and who is on the ice with them at times 313 said that he has only heard Coach Chun and
Assistant Coach Yeo encourage skaters to go as fast as they can. “There’s no screaming or
anything to give me real concern.” Coach Chun is intense, and he pushed in the beginning for
discipline and respect, and for respecting others. 314 This trainer noted that there are many more
injuries in short-track than, for example, in long-track speedskating because short-track is so
physically demanding: the program is “hard across the board” and some “kids are struggling”
but he could not “say that the coaches pushed anyone over the edge.” 315

       Another signed skater who worked with Coach Chun early in his tenure at USS but was
away for the 2010-2012 seasons (and thus missed the 2011 summer) said that the program is
challenging but you “have to be a man, step up, do the work.” 316 This skater believed that he
made an enormous jump with Coach Chun and said that he liked hard work. He had never heard
the coaches say anything like “you’re useless” or “you’re lame.” To him, a “coach is a coach,
he’s here to push you.” Some “things get said,” but “nothing has hurt my feelings or anything




          in the U.S. Coach Chun said that he then sent the athlete to a U.S. hospital for further tests and a fracture
          was discovered. Coach Chun stated that it is impossible to skate on a fracture and that he would never
          allow such a thing. [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
312
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
313
          This professional was in particular demand in summer 2011 when there was no stable trainer support for
          the short-track program. [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
314
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
315
          Id. This observer noted that he knows that the short-track program is demanding, but “that’s what’s
          required for them to be a success.”
316
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012. One of the signed female skaters also used this formulation, stating that
          the breakaway group should “man up” and stop complaining. [−] interview, August 27, 2012.

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like that.” Referencing his two stints with the NRP, he said that Coach Chun had always treated
him the same. He “knows he has to push me, because I can slack sometimes.” 317

        There was wide agreement among people in both camps that Coach Chun runs a tight
ship and likes to maintain control, and that this could chafe some skaters, particularly those who
want freedom to design their own training programs, 318 or who are getting older and may have
increasing trouble keeping up. 319 A signed athlete and the fastest skater in one of the fall 2012
World Cup time trials summarized it this way: “I’ve heard people say that he’s a dictator, but I
can’t see it because either the coach runs the team or the team runs the coach.” 320

VI.       STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The U.S. Speedskating Code of Conduct, revised August 10, 2007 (“Code of Conduct”)
states, in relevant part, that:

          1.       Any member or prospective member of U.S. Speedskating may be
                   denied membership, reprimanded, censured, placed on probation,
                   restricted, suspended for a definite or indefinite period of time
                   (with or without terms of probation), fined or expelled from
                   U.S. Speedskating if such member violates the provisions of the
                   U.S. Speedskating Code of Conduct, or aids, abets or encourages
                   another person to violate any of the provisions of the
                   U.S. Speedskating Code of Conduct.



317
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012. This athlete noted that “[p]eople are saying he’s a terrible coach, wants to
          run us down, but some people have an axe to grind about Jae Su. I have no hesitation to say that some
          people would straight out lie to get Jae Su.”
318
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012. One former USS official noted that certain truly exceptional skaters want
          to be treated specially and make their own rules. While some skaters are so talented that they can take
          those freedoms without affecting their chances, most cannot. The official said that in this sense Coach
          Chun is democratic – there is one training program for all. [−] interview, August 29, 2012.
319
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012; [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
320
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.

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          2.      The following shall be considered           violations   of   the
                  U.S. Speedskating Code of Conduct:

                         […]

          (g)     Physical abuse or harm, mental abuse, intimidation, coercion, or
                  the threat of physical abuse or harm to a U.S. Speedskating
                  member by any person who, in the context of speedskating, is in a
                  position of authority over that U.S. Speedskating member;

          (h)     Any act of fraud, deception or dishonesty in connection with any
                  U.S Speedskating-related activity;

                         […]

          (j)     Any improper or serious disturbance, obstruction or disruption of
                  the functions of U.S. Speedskating or which infringe upon the
                  rights, orderly conduct or well-being of others;

                         […]

          (p)     Any other act, conduct or omission not provided for above which
                  is detrimental to the image or reputation of U.S. Speedskating or
                  the sport of speedskating.

        The most important provision of the Code of Conduct for purposes of this Report is
Section 2 (g). The Code of Conduct does not, however, define any of the operative terms used in
that Section, and so other sources must be examined to understand its meaning.

       To do this, we first turned to the United States Olympic Committee’s Coaching Ethics
Code (“Code”), which is intended to provide standards of professional conduct that can be
applied by the USOC and its member organizations that choose to adopt them. 321


321
          USOC Coaching Ethics Code.

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          Generally, the lengthy Code sets out broad expectations that coaches:

                  •   “recognize the boundaries of their particular competencies and the
                      limitations of their expertise.”

                  •   be “honest, fair, and respectful of others. In describing or
                      reporting their qualifications, services, products, or fees, they do
                      not make statements that are false, misleading, or deceptive.”

                  •   “consider the welfare and rights of their athletes and other
                      participants. When conflicts occur among coaches’ obligations or
                      concerns, they attempt to resolve these conflicts and to perform
                      their roles in a responsible fashion that avoids or minimizes harm.
                      Coaches are sensitive to differences in power between themselves
                      and others, and they do not exploit or mislead other people during
                      or after professional relationships.”

          Specific relevant provisions include:

          1.11 Avoiding Harm:

                      Coaches take reasonable steps to avoid harming their athletes or
                      other participants, and to minimize harm where it is foreseeable
                      and unavoidable.

          1.14 Exploitative Relationships:

                  (a) Coaches do not exploit athletes or other participants over whom
                      they have supervisory, evaluative, or other authority.

          3.01 Structuring the Relationship:

                  (a) Coaches discuss with athletes as early as is feasible appropriate
                      issues, such as the nature and anticipated course of training, fees,
                      and confidentiality.

                  (b) When the coach’s work with athletes will be supervised, the above
                      discussion includes that fact, and the name of the supervisor.

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                  (c) When the coach is uncertified the athlete is informed of that fact.

                  (d) Coaches make reasonable efforts to answer athletes’ questions and
                      to avoid apparent misunderstandings about training. Whenever
                      possible, coaches provide oral and/or written information, using
                      language that is reasonably understandable to the athlete.

          4.03 Accuracy and Objectivity in Coaching

                  (a) When engaged in coaching, coaches present information accurately
                      and with a reasonable degree of objectivity.

                  (b) When engaged in coaching, coaches recognize the power they hold
                      over athletes and therefore make reasonable efforts to avoid
                      engaging in conduct that is personally demeaning to athletes and
                      other participants.

          4.04 Assessing Athlete Performance

                  (a) In coach-athlete relationships, coaches establish an appropriate
                      process for providing feedback to athletes.

                  (b) Coaches evaluate athletes on the basis of their actual performance
                      on relevant and established program requirements.

       These broad statements do little to flesh out the meaning of “physical abuse or harm,
mental abuse” or any of the other operative terms used in Section 2(g) of the Code of Conduct.
Therefore, the Coaching Ethics Code must be set aside in interpreting these terms.

       Next, we turned to relevant legal decisions in the speedskating context and examined the
recent arbitral award in the case of Dong Sung Kim v. U.S. Speedskating, Inc. 322 There,
Arbitrator Jeffrey Benz struck upon the same conundrum we face: how to interpret the
undefined operative words of the Code of Conduct’s Section 2(g).




322
          AAA CASE NO. 77 190 E 00056 11.

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        Arbitrator Benz turned to Black’s Law Dictionary for the definition of “abuse,” finding
that it means, among other things, “Everything which is contrary to good order established by
usage … Physical or mental maltreatment …” 323 But as his case dealt with alleged mistreatment
of children by a coach at a local skating club, Arbitrator Benz also examined the definition of
physical abuse in the context of pediatrics: “Inflicting bodily injury through excessive force or
forcing a child to engage in physically harmful activity, such as excessive exercise.” 324 While
wholly appropriate for the facts and circumstances of the case before him, such a definition
cannot be applied to elite athletes gathering from around the country at the national training
center for international and Olympic preparation. Arbitrator Benz also referenced in a footnote,
but did not apply, various definition and examples of physical abuse and physical misconduct on
the USOC’s Safe Sport website. 325

        We too examined the draft Safe Sport definitions to determine whether they might be
useful in elucidating the meaning of the operative terms from the USS Code of Conduct. On
March 16, 2012, Safe Sport published a handbook called “Recognizing, Reducing and
Responding to Misconduct in Your Sport: Creating Your Strategy” (“Handbook”). 326 The
Handbook offers general guidelines on what might be considered inappropriate physical and
mental behavior, but according to the USOC’s Director of Ethics and Safe Sport, these broad
guidelines are meant to be customized to the specific facts and circumstances of any athletic
program in the country, and have not been written for application to elite athletes. 327 And, the
Handbook (i) has not been adopted by USS and (ii) was issued long after all or substantially all
of the conduct reviewed in this Report took place. Thus, the Handbook in its raw, uncustomized
and unadopted form can only provide limited insight into contemporary standards of expected
behavior in elite athletics. For the sake of completeness, we set forth its relevant provisions.




323
          AAA CASE NO. 77 190 E 00056 11, p. 57, citing Black’s Law Dictionary 10 (Special Deluxe 5th ed. 1979).
324
          AAA CASE NO. 77 190 E                    00056        11,   p.   57,   citing   http://medical-dictionary.the
          freedictionary.com/physical+abuse.
325
          AAA CASE NO. 77 190 E 00056 11, p. 57, citing www.safesport.org.
326
          http://pressbox.teamusa.org/Article%20Documents/USOC-Safe-Sport-Handbook6289729f-d229-47be-
          a627-1390d20a6ced.pdf (last visited on December 28, 2012).
327
          [−] interview, October 1, 2012.

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          The Handbook defines Physical Misconduct as:

                  (1) Contact or non-contact conduct that results in, or reasonably
                      threaten to, cause physical harm to an athlete or other sport
                      participants or

                  (2) Any act or conduct described as physical abuse or misconduct
                      under federal or state law (e.g. child abuse, child neglect, assault).

       The Handbook clarifies that Physical Misconduct “does not include professionally-
accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building,
appropriate discipline or improving athlete performance.”

          Specific examples cited by the Handbook as Physical Misconduct include:

                  (1) Contact offenses. Behaviors that include:

                  (a) punching, beating, biting, striking, choking or slapping an athlete;
                  (b) intentionally hitting an athlete with objects or sporting equipment;
                  (c) providing alcohol to an athlete under the legal drinking age (under
                      U.S. law);
                  (d) providing illegal drugs or non-prescribed medications to any
                      athlete;
                  (e) encouraging or permitting an athlete to return to play pre-maturely
                      following a serious injury (e.g., a concussion) and without the
                      clearance of a medical professional;
                  (f) prescribing dieting or other weight-control methods (e.g., weigh-
                      ins, caliper tests) without regard for the nutritional well-being and
                      health of athlete.

                  (2) Non-contact offenses. Behaviors that include:

                  (a) isolating an athlete in a confined space (e.g., locking an athlete in a
                      small space);



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                  (b) forcing an athlete to assume a painful stance or position for no
                      athletic purpose (e.g. requiring an athlete to kneel on a harmful
                      surface);
                  (c) withholding, recommending against or denying adequate hydration,
                      nutrition, medical attention or sleep. 328

          The Handbook defines Emotional Misconduct as:

                  (1) A pattern of deliberate, non-contact behavior that has the potential
                      to cause emotional or psychological harm to an athlete. Non-
                      contact behaviors include:

                  (a) verbal acts
                  (b) physical acts
                  (c) acts that deny attention or support

                  (2) Any act or conduct described as emotional abuse or misconduct
                      under federal or state law (e.g. child abuse, child neglect).

        The Handbook clarifies that “[e]motional misconduct does not include professionally-
accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building,
discipline or improving athletic performance.”

          Specific examples cited by the Handbook as Emotional Misconduct include:

                  (1) Verbal Acts. A pattern of verbal behaviors that (a) attack an
                      athlete personally (e.g., calling them [sic] worthless, fat or
                      disgusting) or (b) repeatedly and excessively yelling at a particular
                      participant or participants in a manner that serves no productive
                      training or motivational purpose.




328
          Handbook, p. 18.

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                  (2) Physical Acts. A pattern of physically aggressive behaviors, such
                      as (a) throwing sport equipment, water bottles or chairs at, or in the
                      presence of, participants; or (b) punching walls, windows or other
                      objects.

                  (3) Acts that Deny Attention and Support. A pattern of (a) ignoring an
                      athlete for extended periods of time or (b) routinely or arbitrarily
                      excluding participants from practice. 329

       Finally, the Handbook states that it is a violation of the Handbook’s “Athlete Protection
Policy” if “a staff member and/or volunteer knows of misconduct, but takes no action to
intervene on behalf of the athlete(s), participant(s), staff member, and/or volunteer.” 330

       The USOC’s Director of Ethics and Safe Sport, who helped develop the Handbook,
advised us that any application of its provisions must be context-driven and heavily fact-and-
circumstance specific. 331 It would therefore be inappropriate to adopt wholesale its examples of
“abuse” as they are meant to cover little league as much as Olympic training. Under any of these
standards as applied to Olympic athletes the conclusions found in the next section would not
change.

                                                   *    *   *


VII.      CONCLUSIONS

      We have limited ourselves in this Report to the three matters that we were asked to
examine. 332 In so doing we have evaluated the evidence available to us in the particular context


329
          Handbook, pp. 17-18.
330
          Handbook, p. 24.
331
          [−] interview, October 1, 2012.
332
          These are (i) allegations that someone from USS tampered with a competitor’s skate at the 2011 World
          Short-Track Speedskating Team Championships in Warsaw, Poland on or around March 20, 2011; (ii)
          allegations of physical abuse by the USS coaching staff; (iii) allegations of mental abuse by the USS
          coaching staff.

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of world-class competitive speedskating. In drawing our conclusions, we make no comment on,
nor are we qualified to evaluate, the effectiveness of Coach Chun’s training program. We
certainly make no endorsement of his methods. Similarly, we do not take a view on the fitness
and effectiveness of USS as an organization, or that of any of its employees, except to the extent
that their actions may have some relevance to this Investigation.

        In an Investigation of this nature, determinations of credibility, demeanor, attitude,
consistency and motive necessarily play an important role in our analysis. We found those
skaters we interviewed who had signed with the NRP for the 2012-2013 season to be
straightforward and clear about their goals and motivations. They conveyed the sense that it was
a privilege to be in an elite training program in which much was demanded of them, and which –
despite its faults or shortcomings – offered them an opportunity to dramatically improve their
skating and, potentially, make the United States Olympic Team in 2014.

        This group of skaters held universal high regard for Coach Chun, believed that his
coaching was essential to their success, and understood that they were in the biggest of the “big
leagues.” They also found that the training environment improved after the unsigned skaters left:
there was less bickering and arguing with the coaches, and the skaters could concentrate on their
performances. 333 For example, one signed skater described a “great team atmosphere” at the
NRP, 334 another said that the training is better than ever and the earlier endurance and strength
work was paying off, 335 and a third expressed that the coaching staff is “bar none great” and that
the program was the best he had had anywhere – if one is willing to give “100%.” 336 A leading
female skater on the NRP said that “we’re at an elite level…we’ve got world class coaches. The
last thing we want is to lose them.” 337 And a USS professional who had frequent contact with
the athletes at the oval and also away from it stated that she had never seen such a tight-knit
group of athletes [as the NRP skaters] in her five years at USS. The atmosphere was the best for



333
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012; [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
334
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
335
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
336
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
337
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.

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training that she had seen. 338 One of the signed skaters, who said she “skated [her] fastest times
this year,” also stated that the only emotional abuse she is experiencing is that “[the unsigned
skaters] are messing with our training.” 339 This group’s evaluation of the NRP, its consistent and
sincere respect for Coach Chun and its willingness to make public expressions of its support for
him was significant to our analysis.

        By contrast, each of the unsigned skaters seemed to be unhappy in his or her own way
and for his or her own particular reasons. Some allege that Coach Chun was responsible for
injuries new and preexisting; others hold him responsible for funding problems, or for cutting
them from the team, or for their declining performance. Some of these skaters have said that
Coach Chun was too aggressive in voicing his concerns about their performances; others have
said he ignored them. There is no doubt that the unsigned skaters are deeply committed to their
sport and we take very seriously their unhappiness. We accept that they came to sincerely
believe that Coach Chun and his training style were at the root of their complaints.

        One of the few points of agreement among all sides – the NRP skaters, the unsigned
skaters, their parents, the USS administration and staff – was that the contentions now rending
USS did not begin with allegations of abuse by Coach Chun or a desire to see him fired. Rather,
the initial and primary discontent among a number of the unsigned skaters arose over problems
with their funding 340 and the administrative and bureaucratic failings of USS, 341 with concerns
about the training environment in the mix but not as salient.




338
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
339
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
340
          As one USS administrator noted, “in the broadest sense, if we had another million dollars, there wouldn’t
          be any issues.” [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
341
          A number of the parents of the unsigned skaters placed most of the blame on USS for not addressing many
          aspects of the problems head-on at any early stage. [−] interview, October 2, 2012. One parent stated that
          the root causes of the conflict were “90% inefficiency, corruption in the USS organization.” She went on
          to say that “if [USS] had been on top of this, I’m convinced someone could have had a meeting privately
          with [Coach Chun] and explained some of the cultural differences and what was and was not acceptable.”
          [−] interview, October 1, 2012.

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        The transfer of focus to the USS coaching staff happened in part because the unsigned
group – driven by a few strong personalities and through the use of discussion forums on
Facebook, Google Documents, and conference calls – appeared to develop a “group think” or
“echo chamber” mentality, where understandable expressions of discontent with Coach Chun
and the natural complaints found in any team over one’s coach became magnified and self-
reinforcing, morphing over a relatively short period of time into a full-throated set of abuse
accusations.

        We believe that this dispute started over something very different than concerns over
mental or physical abuse by the USS coaches. It also is apparent to us that the unsigned skaters
unleashed a process – in leveling abuse allegations – that has gone in directions that some of
them did not foresee or desire. We had the opportunity to speak with each unsigned skater face-
to-face, read the body language, assess credibility, and objectively trace the evolution of the
unsigned skaters’ discontent as it moved from serious and concrete complaints about funding and
administration at USS to focus more narrowly on the coaching practices of Coach Chun and
Assistant Coach Yeo. Scores of written documents allowed us to corroborate (or question) what
people told us. What follows are our conclusions on the allegations raised.

          A.      Physical Abuse

        The unsigned athletes advanced several allegations of physical abuse against Coach
Chun. These allegations include three isolated incidents, as well as allegations of habitual
overtraining.

                  1.       Pushing an Athlete

        The most serious accusation of physical abuse arises from an event – the physical contact
between Coach Chun and a skater in 2008 – that was not witnessed by any of the unsigned
skaters. Nonetheless, in the retelling by the unsigned group, the incident was variably
characterized as Coach Chun slamming the athlete against the elevator wall, 342 Coach Chun
beating him in the elevator, 343 or, as stated in the Amended and Restated Demand for


342
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
343
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.

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Arbitration, that Coach Chun has “shoved [him] against an elevator door by his neck” and had
“taken care of him.” 344 The only two participants actually involved in the altercation – Coach
Chun and the skater – admit that there was some contact, but described it as Coach Chun pushing
him twice against a wall without causing him physical harm. In an interview with the skater, he
stated that while the incident was inappropriate, he continued to believe that Coach Chun was an
excellent coach in many respects. While pushing an athlete cannot ever be condoned, under all
the facts and circumstances, this incident did not under any reasonable standard constitute
physical abuse.


                  2.      The Water-Bottle Incident

        The second serious accusation of physical abuse against Coach Chun is that he threw a
binder or clipboard at, or in the direction of, a skater and then dumped water over his head. This
kind of behavior is not appropriate, and cannot be condoned. In fact, Coach Chun recognized
that his behavior during this incident was inappropriate and says he later apologized to the
athlete involved. However, context is important in evaluating this event. A coach sees his star
skater, one who is by the skater’s own admission hampered by focus and emotion-control issues
in his performances, not finish a race in which his skate is clipped, and then appear tired and
defeated in the locker room with another race coming up soon. The coach throws down his
binder (not at the skater, by the skater’s own admission) and tells the skater to wake up, pouring
some amount of water on his head. The skater goes on to win the next race. Events subsequent
to this October 2010 race are also important. The coach says that he apologized and that the
apology was accepted, and those involved moved on. While the skater denies that there was an
apology, there is evidence of warm, even close, relations between the two after the incident.345
No formal complaint is made until mid-2012 at the peak of the USS schism, after which the
incident begins to appear repeatedly – in allegations, legal grievances and a criminal complaint
to the local police. 346 While no one can condone the pouring of water on an athlete’s head, even
under the most generous standards of physical abuse set out the Handbook (which is intended as
a broad starting point for all sports teams in the country in drafting abuse policies), this episode
did not objectively constitute physical abuse.


344
          Amended and Restated Demand for Arbitration, filed September 27, 2012.
345
          Text messages between [−] and Jae Su Chun, dated March 12, 2012.
346
          Exhibit 19.

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                  3.         Denying Water

         Next, a number of the unsigned skaters related an incident in which Coach Chun
allegedly denied water to a teenaged skater during an uphill land exercise in the Utah summer,
although only one claimed to have seen it, while riding by on his bicycle. The unsigned skaters
offered conflicting descriptions of basic facts about the workout, but seemed comfortable
repeating the allegation of abuse. If we assume that the eyewitness skater’s account is true, it
must also be admitted that he provided a snapshot of the incident. The larger context is
necessary to properly evaluate whether there was any abuse. Did the teenaged skater drink
shortly before? Was there water waiting at an upcoming checkpoint? Did Coach Chun not have
any more water in his van at the time? Coach Chun categorically denies ever refusing skaters
water and explained the importance of proper hydration. A USS observer who would likely have
learned of such an event taking place stated that he never heard about it. The athlete in question
skates with the NRP but did not sign the open letter in support of Coach Chun advanced by nine
national-team athletes. Despite numerous requests through her mother, the athlete refused to
speak with White & Case. She qualified for the World Cup team in the fall 2012 trials, and there
is evidence that her family is in contact with Coach Chun and watches her training and progress
closely. Under the Handbook, “withholding, recommending against or denying adequate
hydration” is considered a form of non-contact physical abuse. 347 However, absent direct
evidence that Coach Chun denied this athlete water (i) for no good training or practical purpose,
(ii) that the conduct in question resulted in, or reasonably threatened to cause physical harm to
the athlete, and (iii) that he had water available to give her, the benefit of the doubt must go to
Coach Chun. It is thus our evaluation that on all the gatherable facts, this incident did not
constitute physical abuse.


                  4.         Training on Known Injuries

       Several of the unsigned skaters seem to blame Coach Chun for either causing or
exacerbating various skaters’ injuries. There is no dispute that the 2011-2012 season was injury-
heavy, particularly on the men’s side. Some of the skaters aggravated pre-existing injuries or
sustained new ones, including some freak injuries which seem completely unrelated to Coach


347
          Handbook, p. 18.

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Chun. 348 The unsigned group’s allegations on this topic were widely generic: essentially, Coach
Chun overtrained me when I had a pre-existing injury and therefore I got more hurt. To be sure,
in a technical sport like speed skating, skaters can be more susceptible to injury when they are
tired or overtrained and their technique and focus suffers.
         But trainers, athletes and athletic staff we interviewed (including an independent trainer
who is not under Coach Chun’s chain of command but often helped the short-trackers when there
were trainer absences), denied that Coach Chun would force athletes to skate on a known
injury. 349 Coach Chun also denied specifically that he made the athlete with the back injury –
the only highly specific example advanced – skate on it, stating that on days when the medical
team would clear the athlete (or any athlete), he would train, and “[i]f the medical team says
some problem, I make a stop.” 350 There is also documentary evidence that this skater had a
“severe back injury” as far back as May 2007. 351 In explaining the complexity of diagnoses,
Coach Chun related an example where another athlete’s fracture was misdiagnosed during an
overseas competition and the athlete, with the trainer’s permission, continued to skate until it
became impossible. 352 Coach Chun said that he sent the athlete back to the U.S. for an x-ray,
and doctors found that actually he had a fracture. 353 Coach Chun meant with this example to
show that he relies on medical advice and that sometimes that medical advice can be incorrect.

       One neutral athlete agreed that Coach Chun would not make athletes train on injuries,
but would let them understand how disappointed he was that they were not skating. 354 This, if


348
          For example, one of the leaders of the breakaway group tore his ACL while sumo wrestling in a padded
          suit with a skating professional at a birthday party. [−] interview, September 6, 2012.
349
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012; [−] interview, October 1, 2012; [−] interview, September 10, 2012; [−]
          interview, August 27, 2012; [−] interview, August 27, 2012; [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
350
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012. In fact, Coach Chun stated that when he would make this athlete skip
          training on the trainers’ recommendation, this athlete would complain that the coach was not pushing him
          hard enough.
351
          Exhibit 23.
352
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012. No athlete raised this incident in interviews or the formal complaints,
          and it only came to light when Coach Chun volunteered it during our interviews.
353
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
354
          [−] interview, September 18, 2012.

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true, is a practice that sends a mixed message. Coach Chun counters that for him any injury
brought training to a full stop and that he listened to the medical team and told athletes to listen
to their bodies. His words are largely corroborated by other USS professionals. Although the
Handbook does not make reference to being made to train on known injuries as a form of abuse,
Section 1.11 of the USOC Coaching Code of Ethics on “Avoiding Harm” would logically forbid
it. Questions of when training on a past injury is safe are complex and a matter of judgment
made in consultation with medical professionals and the athlete concerned. Coach Chun appears
to have taken all these factors into consideration and protected the athletes’ best interests. On all
the facts and circumstances, it is our view that the generic allegations and the one specific
incident did not constitute physical abuse.

                   5.       Overtraining

        Finally, the unsigned skaters have relayed more inchoate allegations of general
overtraining against Coach Chun. These allegations are mirrored by some of the skaters’
parents, who noticed that during the course of the summer of 2011, their daughters and sons went
from confident, strong and motivated, to exhausted, miserable and “completely out of gas.” 355
All concerned agree that the summer 2011 training – during the first, base-building year of the
Olympic-preparation arc – was extremely hard. We heard repeatedly that what athletes describe
as the result of overtraining – chronic fatigue, skating at reduced speed, the sensation of skating
with bags of lead in their skates 356 – is actually a result of a combination of overtraining and
under-recovery. 357 Everyone agrees that trainer support, which is critical to recovery, was
insufficient during this period. In fact, many of the breakaway athletes have blamed their
injuries, either partially or fully, on trainer incompetence, turnover and unavailability. 358 It is
also a fact that while the men’s and women’s teams both trained under Coach Chun and followed
his program, their results in the 2011-2012 season were dramatically different. The women



355
          [−] interview, October 2, 2012; [−] interview, October 1, 2012; [−] interview, October 1, 2012.
356
          [−] interview, September 6, 2012; [−] interview, October 1, 2012.
357
          [−] interview, September 18, 2012; [−] interview, September 5, 2012.
358
          One signed skater remembers a trainer telling Coach Chun that she was fine to skate, while at the same
          time telling her she may never be able to have children due to the severity of her hip problems. This skater
          admits that Coach Chun had no idea of the severity of her problem and that the hip issue was pre-existing.
          [−] interview, September 18, 2012.

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performed well, and under the system in place for determining funding, secured their financial
support for the next season. The men performed poorly and saw their financial support
jeopardized. For his part, Coach Chun admits that his summer 2011 regimen may have been too
intense, and that there was some overtraining. 359 Therefore, while multiple witnesses
corroborate Coach Chun’s frustration with the rapid turn-over of trainers and his emphatic
requests that the problem be solved, he does bear some responsibility for not easing up the
training in the absence of sufficient trainer support and the opportunity for proper recovery.

        One signed athlete succinctly expressed that it is the duty of an elite coach to see the fine
line between toughening someone and breaking him, and not to cross it. The training in summer
2011 approached this line for some skaters and crossed it for others. However, several skaters
also stated that they did not want to see their training regimen brought down to the level of the
slowest or weakest skater. This, to their mind, had no place in an Olympic program and would
hurt everyone’s training and chances. Rather, they said, setting the bar high inspires everyone to
be better. 360 Overtraining is not contemplated as abuse under the Handbook although it may fall
under the “Avoiding Harm” language of USOC Coaching Code of Ethics Section 1.11. In any
event, in this context, under all the facts and circumstances – particularly in light of the lack of
consistent trainer support and the women’s success during the racing season after following the
same condition regime as the men – to characterize the allegations of overtraining as physical
abuse is a step too far.

          B.      Mental or Emotional Abuse

       Several of the unsigned skaters have advanced allegations of emotional abuse against
Coach Chun. The allegations range from specific incidents to broader patterns of mistreatment
and neglect.
                  1.       Comments about Weight

      It is indisputable that success in elite speedskating depends on having a low body-fat
composition and high power-to-weight ratio. Athletes with these physical characteristics are


359
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
360
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012; [−] interview, August 27, 2012; [−] interview, August 27, 2012; [−]
          interview, August 27, 2012.

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being actively sought and cultivated by all the teams against which USS competes. USS itself
regularly tests its athletes to determine, among other things, their body-fat composition, and
frankly discusses the results with them. During the events in question, it seems that some of the
USS female skaters had a level of around 20% body fat, while the world’s top women skaters are
generally somewhere between 10% and 13.5%. It is widely agreed that Coach Chun does not
have a command of the English language that allows him to express nuance. 361

        At the beginning of his tenure in 2007 and 2008, Coach Chun admits that he used the
word “fat,” or variations of it when discussing body-composition and performance issues with
his skaters, both female and male. A credible witness suggested that because weight and body-
fat content is treated in such a technical way in elite speedskating, in his early days at USS
Coach Chun did not see discussing the issue any differently than telling someone in a group “you
need to tie your shoes.” 362 In other words, in the context of elite training, his intent was to have
a matter-of-fact technical discussion of an issue related directly to performance, and not to
disparage an athlete’s personal appearance.

       Sometime after he started with USS, a female USS staffer explained to Coach Chun that a
more indirect approach to this sensitive issue would be better, and Coach Chun agreed. The two
worked out a plan under which body-fat composition tests would be discussed in private, and
often when the numbers were too high a female USS staffer would be the one to explain this to
the particular female skater. Several witnesses said that they saw improvements in Coach
Chun’s handling of the matter over time. Coach Chun stated that he largely stopped using the
word “fat” after coming to understand how toxic it is, and now uses terms like “your numbers are
too high” or “you need to get the composition down.” It is certainly possible that Coach Chun
has nonetheless used the word “fat” in recent years when discussing performance and body-mass
composition with his skaters.

      We believe that Coach Chun’s use of the word “fat” was inappropriate and naturally
would have caused discomfort in female skaters (or male skaters, for that matter), devoting so
much of their lives to rigorous training and competition. At the same time, the four female


361
          As one leader in the unsigned group noted, “if you’ve ever talked to Jae Su you’ll know that it’s difficult
          for him to articulate coherently above a certain level.” [−] interview, October 3, 2012.
362
          [−] interview, September 10, 2012.

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athletes who all concerned agree received the brunt of Coach Chun’s poorly worded views on
their body-fat composition, have (i) remained with the NRP, (ii) signed a public letter in support
of Coach Chun and his methods, (iii) are skating personal records, (iv) during interviews never
mentioned any discomfort with discussions about the issue or alleged that they had been called
names by their coach, and (v) do not appear afraid to speak their mind and do what is best to
improve their skating and advance their Olympic aspirations. 363

        The Handbook defines emotional abuse as “a pattern of deliberate, non-contact behavior
that has the potential to cause emotional or psychological harm to an athlete.” 364 Given that (i)
Coach Chun’s use of the word “fat” and discussions about body composition were related to
improving skaters’ performance in an area that is unquestionably of great importance, with no
relation to evaluations of personal appearance, (ii) seemed to have stemmed from a cultural
difference in understanding and limited fluency in English, and (iii) Coach Chun took steps to
change his approach when its inappropriateness was brought to his attention, we do not believe
that in this context and under the totality of the circumstances his behavior amounted to mental
or emotional abuse or a pattern thereof.


                  2.       Non-Communication

       Several unsigned skaters alleged that Coach Chun would ignore them, particularly after
poor performances, and was unpredictable and inscrutable in his apportionment of attention to
them. Such an allegation is serious and people inside and outside the sport have suggested that
being ignored by one’s coach was probably worse than being yelled at by him. Coach Chun did
not deny that he could not always be available to everyone on all questions. But he, corroborated
by others, underscored two important issues.




363
          We were careful to look for any indications that these skaters were afraid to describe anything that may
          have been happening to them, for example for fear of retribution or diminished attention from the coaching
          staff. In our estimation, there was no evidence of this. Rather, these skaters seemed like well-adjusted
          athletes who valued the improvements that they saw in their skating under Coach Chun and saw him as
          their best vehicle to Olympic success.
364
          Handbook at p. 17.

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        First, Coach Chun is not a recreational coach, and he used the necessarily limited
resource of his complete focus to motivate his athletes. If skaters were giving their all, or even
80% of it, then he was, he stated, fully available to them, and this was corroborated by athletes in
the signed group. But, he said, “for those who don’t want 100% but want 50%, this is the
athlete’s responsibility then.” 365 In other words, he did not tolerate fooling around or distracted
participation. Second, the increase in the number of skaters on the NRP and the loss of two
coaches 366 put a serious strain on Coach Chun and Assistant Coach Yeo’s ability to satisfy every
athlete’s needs for personalized attention – particular in a highly technical sport where tuning
and maintaining sensitive equipment takes considerable time. In short, for motivational reasons
and simply due to time constraints, Coach Chun did not always provide full attention to
everyone, reserving it for those skaters he thought were trying their hardest or performing the
best. The signed skaters did not complain about it, and some of the unsigned ones did. The
Handbook includes “acts that deny attention and support” in its definition of emotional abuse. 367
In our assessment, this set of the allegations comes closest to a pattern of abuse due to the
importance of the bond between athlete and coach. But in the full context of an expanded NRP
team, an insufficient number of assistant coaches, and Coach Chun’s belief that seeing the
hardest workers get the most attention would motivate the rest of the athletes, the instances we
have been told of do not cross the line.

                  3.         Public Humiliation

       A few athletes in the unsigned group alleged that Coach Chun insulted them in public by
questioning their commitment and maturity, calling them “lazy,” saying that they were not good
enough or should go home or would never improve, and using the word stupid to describe
various of their actions. 368 Some skaters in the signed group and among the USS professionals



365
          [−] interview, September 7, 2012.
366
          Again, in this Report we do not address any possible administrative or structural shortcomings in the USS
          that may have allowed or facilitated such events as the departure of these coaches.
367
          Handbook, p. 18.
368
          Coach Chun apparently uses the phrase “skating stupid” or “stupid skating” frequently to describe when
          USS athletes are not skating tactically, strategically or with their heads. [−] interview, August 29, 2012;
          [−] interview, September 5, 2012.

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on the ice stated simply that Coach Chun does not use offensive formulations. 369 For example,
one signed skater said he had never heard Coach Chun say anything like “you’re useless” or
“you’re lame.” The coach’s job, in this athlete’s view, is to push the skaters, and while
sometimes “things get said … nothing has hurt my feelings or anything like that.” 370

        Because of the stark contrast on this issue – none of the signed skaters and on-ice staff
interviewed said that they heard such comments from Coach Chun, while some of the unsigned
skaters complained of and were hurt by them, although everyone worked and trained together
frequently – it is difficult to know whether (i) Coach Chun made such comments but they rolled
off the backs of the signed group, (ii) they were never made, or (iii) Coach Chun inartfully
expressed himself in English and these comments were perceived by some skaters as harsher
than they were meant to be. In such a situation we must rely on our in-person assessments of
demeanor, motive, credibility and the reasonableness of the sensitivities of the skaters involved.
Name-calling should not be encouraged, and respect should be paramount in any coach-athlete
relationship. But in weighing all these factors after having had three face-to-face opportunities
to meet with both groups of skaters and other participants, and to follow up on the telephone, it is
our assessment that any public or private criticism of the unsigned athletes does not rise to the
level of a pattern of abusive behavior, as defined by the examples of verbal acts that could
constitute emotional misconduct set forth in the Handbook. 371

                                                   *    *     *

       Coach Chun was head coach at USS for more than five years. By all accounts for those
years he was intense, demanding and was not a good communicator. On isolated occasions,
Coach Chun’s intensity crossed the line and he acknowledged that there were several incidents
where his conduct was wrong. A number of skaters concluded that they no longer wanted to
skate under Coach Chun and were completely dissatisfied with him and his training methods.
But there is also no question that a group of skaters sincerely believed that Coach Chun was an
excellent coach who gave them the best opportunity to win medals in the 2014 Olympic Games.


369
          And, while not dispositive as to the use of insults, as mentioned earlier all concerned agree that Coach
          Chun will not tolerate cursing or foul language by his skaters, his staff and himself.
370
          [−] interview, August 27, 2012.
371
          Handbook, pp. 17-18.

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