Coach suspended for harassment

Updated: 2012-11-16 02:07

By Wang Hongyi in Shanghai

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An assistant coach on Shanghai's women's volleyball team has been suspended and is under investigation following claims he sexually harassed players, Shanghai's sports authority said.

On Saturday, two female players reported that a male coach indulged in "obscene" behavior and words when he provided massages to players after a training session the previous day, the Shanghai Administration of Sports said on its official micro blog on Wednesday.

The coach was not named in the official statement.

The administration said it had conducted a preliminary investigation and the coach had admitted to drinking too much that night when having dinner with a friend. The coach said he didn't remember too much about his words or actions that night.

After the report by the players last week, the assistant coach was required to write an explanation of his conduct. He remained in his post with the team until the scandal came to light this week when the Shanghai team was thrashed 3-0 by Tianjin on Tuesday night.

Later, a netizen named "Butubukuai111" posted on weibo that the poor performance of Shanghai was due to the fact a coach had harassed players during a massage session. The scandal has drawn wide attention and been forwarded hundreds of times online.

The Shanghai sports administration said such an incident "had never happened before".

"It's absolutely impermissible for a coach to have such behavior. We won't tolerate it just because it's the first time or the coach was intoxicated," the administration said.

It also stated the case would be reported to higher authorities after its investigation is completed.

The Shanghai women's volleyball team was runner-up in the Chinese league last season. On Tuesday, it was defeated by Tianjin, 25-10, 25-15, 25-15.

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