Japan’s retired double Olympic judo gold medallist Masato Uchishiba was fired as a university coach Tuesday for sexually harassing a female student.
Uchishiba, 33, who won the 66kg title at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, had been coaching the women’s judo team at Kyushu University of Nursing and Social Welfare in Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan, since April last year.
He announced his retirement from competition in October last year and became a visiting professor at the university last January.
Uchishiba sexually harassed the student after allowing her to have an alcoholic drink in September, the school said in a statement without giving further details in order to “protect her privacy.”
It said Uchishiba was “extremely unqualified as a member of the faculty” and had “extremely impaired the school’s honour and diminished its credibility.”
The Jiji and Kyodo news agencies reported, quoting school officials, the girl was under 20 and that Uchishiba told a panel set up by the university that he made the advance on the girl, who was a member of the judo team, “on the basis of mutual consent.”
“I could hardly believe it because he was someone that has won twice at the Olympics,” university president Makoto Futatsuka told a news conference, according to the public broadcaster NHK.
“I was stunned when I learned about it. I cannot help but say we have been not strict enough in guiding him as he was such a famous athlete.”
There was no immediate comment from Uchishiba.
The legal age for drinking in Japan is 20.