Volleyball coach suspended for alleged sexual harassment

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 November, 2012, 5:13am

Shanghai's sports authority has ordered the suspension of an assistant coach with the city's professional women's volleyball team for alleged sexual harassment and told him to apologise to the players involved.

A post put on the Shanghai Sports Bureau's microblog on Wednesday said two players were sexually harassed by an assistant coach - both verbally and physically - when he offered them massages on Friday night.

One player said she told him before he left the room that he was drunk and that she did not need another massage.

The coach, whose name has not been released, said he had been drinking heavily with friends before massaging the players and could not remember what he had said or done.

Two players said it was the first such incident in their team.

The scandal was exposed after Shanghai's humiliating 0-3 loss to Tianjin on Tuesday. A China Central Television sports commentator described Shanghai's performance as "like sleepwalking". This microblog said that after the two players complained to team management on Saturday, the coach was only asked to write a letter of self- reflection about his "mistake".

It said management regarded preparations for the game against Tianjin as the team's priority and told the players to persuade their teammates not to publicise the incident.