Two-time Olympic taekwondo champion Steven Lopez has been handed a life ban by the US Center for SafeSport following an allegation of sexual misconduct, it was confirmed on Friday.
Lopez has been deemed “permanently ineligible” from future competition in a ruling made by the center on Thursday following a four-month investigation.
No other information was immediately available.
The 39-year-old, a gold medalist at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, had been suspended since May. His brother Jean, a coach on the US Olympic taekwondo team, had already been banned for life for sexual offenses.
Steven Lopez can appeal, the center said on its Web site.
The Houston Chronicle reported that the offense that prompted his ban involved a 14-year-old girl in 2000 when he was 22.
He reportedly began “grooming” the girl for abuse when she was 10 years old, the report cited investigators as saying.
The suspension comes after four female athletes sued the US Olympic Committee and USA Taekwondo for sex trafficking in a federal lawsuit filed in May.
The women alleged they were forced to train and travel with known sexual predators.
Heidi Gilbert, Mandy Meloon, Amber Means and Gaby Joslin alleged that they suffered “two decades of sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking of Team USA’s Olympic taekwondo athletes by the entities, officials, coaches and mentors who were entrusted to protect them.”
Both Jean Lopez and Steven Lopez were named in the lawsuit.
Meloon, a two-time world champion, claimed in a 2007 complaint that she was raped by Jean at the 1997 World Cup in Egypt when she was 15. She was left off Jean’s 2007 squad, pressing her case to US Olympic Committee arbitration.
Gilbert said Jean had sexually assaulted her after events in Ecuador in 2002 and Germany in 2003.
The lawsuit says women who wanted onto the US taekwondo team “had no choice but to submit to the Lopez brothers’ sexual demands.”
If they refused to do so, they were benched, suspended or kicked off Team USA by the Lopez brothers.
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
Thailand international Pitsamai Sornsai, a new arrival for Inter Taoyuan, is to lead her team against Taipei Bravo tomorrow in the 10th round of the Taiwan Mulan Football League. Sornsai, who is nicknamed Pui, has attracted interest from media and fans as the first foreigner signed to play in Taiwan’s women’s league. Inter are among six teams battling for the title this year. The addition of Sornsai is a boost for the international profile of women’s soccer in Taiwan and elevates the competition. The 31-year-old brings a wealth of experience, including from the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Championship, the Southeast Asian Games and
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very