Jean, a member of Canada's gold medal relay at the 2010 Olympics, said a week ago, when the allegation became public, that he always suspected there had been tampering but had no proof and had put the incident behind him. Speedskating Canada has said it would have no comment until the U.S. investigation is complete.
"The conduct at issue is repugnant and antithetical to the values of the Olympic Movement and inconsistent with Team USA's commitment to fair play," USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said Friday. "We regret that an American athlete was involved, and intend to actively engage with US Speedskating to ensure that appropriate action is taken."
U.S. Speedskating has scheduled a Friday news conference for the release of the report. The arbitration hearing is scheduled Nov. 1.
“Our understanding is Jae Su has denied he told Simon to do this,” said Cho's attorney, John Wunderli of Salt Lake City. “It is really inconceivable Simon would have done this on his own.”
Cho came to the United States as a toddler and lived in the Maryland suburbs of Washington until moving to Salt Lake City in 2009. He had competed on U.S. teams directed by Chun since 2007.
“Him and I had maintained a good relationship until this incident,” Cho said during the telephone interview.
Cho was not sure what would have happened if he had refused the coach's order.
“The bad thing is the consequences of doing it were greater than if I had just told him no,” Cho said. “At the time I was intimidated by my coach and fearful.”
According to the arbitration filing and a complaint against Chun filed with the U.S. Olympic Committee, Cho had discussed the incident with a U.S. skater on the plane home from Warsaw and in some later text messages to the same skater. Cho said he didn't know how many other U.S. skaters were aware of what he had done.
Cho was not among the skaters, more than a dozen in all, who signed documents alleging Chun's misconduct. He told his parents about the tampering incident a couple of months ago, about the time attorney Edward Williams of New York had become involved in drafting documents for the complainants.
Asked if he regretted that one or more other skaters had implicated him in the charges against the coach, Cho said, “I'm disappointed at how this all came about. But I did what I did and said what I said.
“That was a very dark time for me. The best thing I can do now is be honest about everything.”
After failing to make the U.S. team for the three fall World Cups last Sunday, when he had yet to admit his transgression publicly, Cho told reporters he “did not expect to get out of this situation without damage.”
The International Skating Union, international governing body of the speedskating, issued a statement Friday saying it was aware of the case and declining to comment on an ongoing disciplinary matter. The ISU has sanction provisions in its constitution against an athlete “who can be proved to have acted against the spirit of the ISU statutes or otherwise improperly.” The sanctions include warning, suspension and life ban.
“I'm an athlete and being a year and a half away (from the 2014 Winter Games), I would like to continue my shot at the next Olympics,” Cho said. “But that is not up to me.”