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September 22, 2017

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Cho expects punishment over claims of tampering with skates

KEARNS, Utah -- Olympic bronze medalist Simon Cho says he expects to be suspended or banned because of skate tampering allegations.

The reigning national short track champion, Cho made the comments Sunday after failing to earn a spot on the fall U.S. World Cup team. He declined to say if the allegations are true, but is preparing for the worst.

The allegations are part of a scandal involving U.S. coach Jae Su Chun, who is accused in a demand for arbitration of ordering Cho to sabotage a Canadian rival's skate at last year's World Team Championships. A dozen national team members also have accused Chun of unchecked verbal, physical and psychological abuse.

Chun has denied the charges and remains on administrative leave pending an investigation by an independent agency.

On Sunday, 10 racers secured spots on the World Cup team. Jessica Smith, Sarah Chen, Lana Gehring, Emily Scott and Alyson Dudek qualified for the women. JR Celski, Chris Creveling, Kyle Carr, Jeff Simon and Travis Jayner qualified for the men.

Whether all accept the spots depends on what happens with Chun and the scandal that has divided the team.

Four of the five men who qualified Sunday skate for the splinter FAST Team, and Simon said he likely would not participate in World Cup events if Chun remains as coach.

Carr remains undecided.

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