Lee Jae-cheol caught by police after Olympic welcome party - 'He can't drink well' say colleagues
South Korea’s Olympic sailing coach Lee Jae-cheol has been sent home in disgrace after he was caught drink-driving by police in Weymouth.
The coach was found to be more than twice the legal alcohol limit after drinking wine at a welcome party for the visiting athletes on Tuesday night.
Lee was ordered to pay a fine and costs totaling £340 and has been banned from driving in the UK for 18 months by magistrates after failing a breath test.
The South Korean Olympic Delegation held emergency talks and decided to send the coach back to Seoul “as an exemplary punishment” and the South Korea Sailing Federation apologised on behalf of the coach.
“Coach Lee Jae-cheol attended a banquet and drank wine and beer on July 25,” a statement from the federation said.
“It is true that Lee, who can’t drink well, was caught drunk driving by the police when he was returning alone to the athletes’ village at 5am for training after sleeping for some time to get sober at the federation’s own place outside the village.
“The Korea Olympic Committee convened its reward and punishment committee there and decided to send Lee home as an exemplary punishment.
“It is really a matter for regret. Although we will thoroughly grasp the issue and take action after finding out what was wrong, we think Lee is under enormous amount of psychological pressure.
“Our federation will try hard to prevent a weakening of athletes’ morale and try to turn the misfortune to our advantage and do our best to realise our dream to win medals in sailing.”
Kim Joon-nyun, secretary general of the sailing federation, said Lee had been fined 250 pounds and was “on the way home.”