TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese Olympic Committee says it will investigate the alleged abuse of elite female judo competitors by former national coach Ryuji Sonoda, and broaden the investigation to other sports.

Sonoda, a former world gold medalist in the men's 60-kilogram division, resigned Thursday after it was revealed that 15 top female judoka accused him and other coaching staff of harassment and physical violence during training before the London Olympics.

The JOC issued a statement on Friday saying it found the "inappropriate behaviors conducted by a former Japanese national judo coach most regrettable. Violence has no place in sport and directly contradicts the values of the Olympic movement."

The JOC also said it would investigate every other national sports federation, aiming to eliminate similar coaching abuses as Japan vies to bring the 2020 Games to Tokyo.

"We firmly believe in the dedication and integrity of Japanese athletes, and are confident that the Japanese sport community as a whole adheres to the highest levels of conduct and respect," the committee's statement said.

The use of corporal punishment in Japanese sports has come under the spotlight following the suicide in December of a Japanese high school student who endured repeated beatings by his basketball coach.

 

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