‘Suspended’ volleyball’s Oh Ji-young Lee foreshadows court battle

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Oh Ji-young (35), who was suspended for one year by the Korea Volleyball Organization (KOVO) for allegedly harassing two of her juniors and had her contract with her team, Pepper Savings Bank, terminated, has announced a court battle.

“We intend to calmly and carefully go through the process of revealing the injustice regardless of whether she retires or not, keeping in mind the future trial and litigation process,” said Jeong Min-ho, a lawyer at Lee & Lee Law Firm, her legal representative.

On June 27, KOVO’s punishment committee handed down a one-year suspension to Oh Ji-young, stating, “It was found that Oh Ji-young had been harassing her juniors since June last year, and two juniors left the team.” “Through various evidence, we confirmed that there were human rights violations such as harassment and verbal abuse by Oh Ji-young,” the committee said.

On the 28th, lawyer Jung Min-ho released a number of social networking service (SNS) messages that Oh shared with victims A and B, arguing that “the complainant’s (victims) claim is not convincing as they had friendly conversations on SNS even during the period when they said they were harassed.”

Oh Ji-young’s side said, “Oh Ji-young and A had a trustworthy relationship. She was more like a sister than a junior,” and explained, “I was distant from junior B, so harassment itself cannot be established.”

In October of last year, Oh reprimanded A and B for going out in violation of the bylaws on a day when the main players were playing, causing a car accident.

“In October, I only cautioned them to reprimand the junior players in order to promote unity among team members and prevent conflicts, but there is no evidence that they harassed the players or reprimanded the junior players for no legitimate purpose or reason,” Oh said, adding, “If this kind of behavior is socially and legally condemned, the concept of seniority, seniority, and seniority in the workplace will no longer exist in Korean society.”

“Mr. Oh confirmed the complainant’s allegations for the first time in the first phase of the trial on the 23rd,” said Mr. Jeong. She had absolutely no time to prepare rebuttal materials and did not have enough opportunity to make her case,” he said, adding that he is requesting a reconsideration by the KOVO Disciplinary Committee and preparing other legal responses.

Meanwhile, KOVO held a second punishment committee on Nov. 27 for Oh’s harassment and verbal abuse of juniors in the team. KOVO imposed a one-year suspension on Oh, saying, “We will sanction him to prevent similar behavior from occurring. The discipline was imposed in accordance with Article 10 (1) (4) of the Regulations of the Athletes’ Rights Protection Committee, Article 10 (1) (1) and (5) of the Penalty Regulations, and Article 11 (1) (4) and (5) of the Disciplinary and Sanctioning Standards (General) in Appendix 1 of the Penalty Regulations.”


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