Kenderesi sorry for touching dancer

GWANGJU • Hungarian swimmer Tamas Kenderesi has apologised for "thoughtlessly touching" a nightclub dancer after being arrested on sexual harassment charges during the world championships in South Korea.

The Olympic bronze medallist has been released from custody but banned from leaving the country for the next 10 days, while police investigate the weekend incident at a bar in Gwangju, around 330km south of Seoul.

Kenderesi, who finished last in the 200m butterfly final, has admitted making contact with his accuser but denies charges of sexual harassment.

"After coming back from the toilets and heading towards the dance floor, I touched the backside of a Korean girl who was working as a dancer at the club," he said in a statement.

"I did not even stop behind her - I took only a single, perhaps thoughtless move, which seriously angered this girl who filed a complaint against me.

"Realising the seriousness of the situation, I was absolutely cooperative throughout the entire process. I deeply regret what happened and I wish to beg for the Korean girl's forgiveness. But I strongly deny that I'm guilty in any kind of sexual harassment."

Kenderesi, 22, said he had not been shown the video of the incident but insisted: "I honestly believe my words will be justified by the footage (and reveal) I did not commit any serious offence. However, I have to understand that I hurt certain moral norms, which are the foundations of the local values."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2019, with the headline 'Kenderesi sorry for touching dancer'. Subscribe