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Fencing: Japan bans coach for bullying athletes

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TOKYO (Reuters) – The Japan Fencing Association said on Thursday it has banned Ukrainian coach Alexander Gorbachuk from all fencing activities for one month after he was found to have bullied athletes during the Epee World Cup in Buenos Aires last month.

The association said it had also banned former European team champion Gorbachuk, who has been preparing the men’s epee team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, from accompanying athletes to competitions for six months.

He will now miss the Fencing World Championships in July in Budapest.

Kyodo News reported that Gorbachuk had struck athletes during the event.

“Following the event on the 2nd March, in Buenos Aires in Argentina … we provisionally have decided to suspend the coach who has been observed bullying for a month,” the association said in a statement on its website on Thursday.

“He is also banned from accompanying to any competition for six months.

“This suspension period started on the 23rd March 2019. We aim to eradicate all bullying and we will treat this accordingly.”

Japan won their country’s first team epee World Cup in Argentina.

(Reporting by Jack Tarrant; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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