Olympic short track champion to miss Beijing Games over texts, reports say

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Shim Suk-Hee, South Korea’s top short track speed skater, will reportedly miss the Beijing Winter Olympics after losing an appeal to lift a ban over reported text messages where she disparaged teammates.

Last fall, the four-time Olympic medalist was removed from the national team after a reported text message exchange with a coach that suggested she may have intentionally tripped fellow star Choi Min-Jeong during the 2018 Olympics.

In the messages, Shim reportedly insulted Choi and another Olympic teammate, Kim Alang.

Shim was cleared of the race-fixing charge due to insufficient proof, according to South Korean media, but still banned for two months starting in late December, going through the Beijing Games.

Shim appealed to a Seoul court, which sided with the Korea Skating Union, according to multiple South Korean media reports.

“I humbly accept the decision of the court,” Shim said in a statement released by her agency, according to Yonhap News Agency. “I would like to apologize to everyone who suffered from my action.”

Shim made headlines after the 2018 Olympics when she she accused another former coach of rape.

Amid a growing #MeToo movement in South Korea, Shim’s case encouraged other female athletes to speak up about the alleged abuse they suffered from their coaches.

The former coach was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.

Shim won 3000m relay gold medals at the last two Olympics, plus individual silver and bronze medals in 2014. She was the World Cup overall champion in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and won South Korea’s Olympic Trials in May.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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