Judo: Japanese female Olympians 'beaten' by coaches
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's female Olympic judo athletes were beaten with bamboo swords and slapped by their coaches, officials said on Wednesday, weeks after a schoolboy's suicide sparked anguished debate over corporal punishment.
A 15-strong group of judokas complained to the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) last month that they had been subjected to physical punishment by the team's head coach.
The group, which included athletes who took part in the London Olympics, says head coach Ryuji Sonoda routinely abused them, slapping them in the face and hitting them with thick wooden swords, like those used in the Japanese martial art of kendo.
They also complained that some were forced to compete in matches while injured, reports said.