Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Japan Olympic Committee survey sheds light on violence
(Reuters) - The Japanese Olympic Committee has promised to take steps to wipe out violence among its sports federations after a survey revealed more than 10 percent of its athletes had been victims of bullying or harassment.
The results of the JOC survey came after Japan cut funding to its judo federation following an investigation into the alleged physical abuse of female athletes found evidence of serious misconduct by coaches.
"We all have to recognise that we must move toward eradicating this (violence)," JOC director Tsuyoshi Fukui said.
"We have to accept that these results from the survey are extremely serious."
The report released at a JOC executive board meeting on Tuesday showed 11.5 percent, or 206, of the 1,798 athletes who responded to its survey said they had been bullied, Kyodo news agency said.
Of the 1,457 coaches who responded to the survey, 43 said they had been violent in some way towards athletes.
The survey was sent out to 6,909 Olympic designated athletes and coaches in 57 national federations.
JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda said cutting funding to the Japanese judo federation was meant to send a message that violence would not be tolerated.
"Withholding the funds is a harsh but appropriate measure," Takeda said. "As the JOC we want to instruct them so that such acts of violence never occur again. It is unfortunate that (the survey results show) there existed these actual cases."
(Writing by Peter Rutherford in Singapore, Editing by Patrick Johnston)