News 11th January 2019

Arbitrator lifts Taekwondo coaching ban on Jean Lopez

Jean Lopez is free to return to coaching Taekwondo after an Arbitration Panel ruled that his name should be removed from the US Centre for SafeSport’s sanctioned list, reports USA Today. Lopez was declared permanently ineligible by USA Taekwondo in April last year. He and his brother, two-time Olympic champion Stephen Lopez, had been accused of sexual misconduct, accusations they deny.

An Arbitration Panel also overturned a USA Taekwondo ban on Stephen Lopez in December last year. It is understood that in both cases, the Panel ruled that SafeSport had failed to prove the sexual misconduct allegations because the defendants involved had refused to testify due to a pending civil lawsuit against USA Taekwondo and the brothers. 

The civil lawsuit alleges that the US Olympic Committee (USOC) and USA Taekwondo continued to send young women to training camps and competitions despite being aware of sexual allegations regarding the brothers. Both are still listed as suspended on the USA Taekwondo internet site – Jean pending further adjudication and Stephen pending the resolution of a SafeSport complaint. 

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