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SBD Global/February 11, 2013/Olympics

JOC Interviews Olympic Federations Seeking Ways To Eliminate Violence In Sport

The Japanese Olympic Committee interviewed representatives of 31 Olympic national sport federations over two days last week as part of its new initiative to eliminate violence from sports. No incident of violence or harassment has been reported. The JOC will conduct further investigations with top athletes and coaches (JOC).

The AFP reported the resignation of Japan's national women's judo coach, who allegedly beat athletes with a bamboo sword, was a "nasty reminder of how Japan's sporting world still draws on the traditions that led the country to war last century." Experts said that "despite the bravery of the judokas who risked their careers to bring it to light, the culture of coercion and corporal punishment is so ingrained that it will die hard." The women, who haven't been named publicly, said that multiple complaints were only acted on by the male-dominated federation and the JOC when "the scandal was exposed by the media" in late January. The "explosive case" came weeks after a teenager killed himself following repeated physical abuse from his high school basketball coach, "reigniting a national debate on widespread corporal punishment in schools and sport" (AFP, 2/10).
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