Tamás Kenderesi, the Hungarian swimmer who has been banned from leaving South Korea, after being arrested for alleged sexual harassment, left Gwangju on Wednesday and is expected to arrive at Budapest today. Sándor Wladár, President of the Hungarian Swimming Federation (MÚSZ) told hvg.hu that the swimmer feels physically well, but not mentally.
Hungarian Swimmer Tamás Kenderesi Arrested in South Korea for Alleged Sexual Harassment
The president of the Hungarian Swimming Association (MÚSZ) told hvg.hu that he would make significant changes, after the events of the World Aquatics Championship in Gwangju. Sándor Wladár said that
I’m sure I’ll put him in front of the disciplinary committee. But I still don’t know what kind of punishment he can expect. The committee will decide on the basis of the official investigation papers of the South Korean police and the swimmer’s testimony.
Kenderesi may receive a verbal or written warning from the Swimming Association or his sanctions may even include a fine or cancellation of benefits, but they can ban the swimmer from competitions and training camps as well. Sándor Wladár also stated that MÚSZ would not pay the bail or any penalty instead of the Olympic bronze medal swimmer.
The Olympic bronze medalist athlete was reportedly arrested in a night club on Sunday. According to Yonhap news agency, an 18-year-old woman had called the police to the nightclub and pressed charges against the swimmer for sexually harassing her. After Kenderesi had been questioned, he was released and returned to the Athletes Village. Kenderesi denied the allegation against him but admitted that he had touched the girl and apologized in a statement about the events at the club. In this, Kenderesi writes
I didn’t even stop behind her, I made a single, perhaps brash move that made the girl seriously angry and she pressed charges against me. After understanding the gravity of the situation, I cooperated fully the whole time.
Kenderesi’s situation was also worsened by the fact that he did not have any identity cards or accreditation cards, which also contributed to the authorities’ decision not to leave the country during the investigation, ie. for ten days. The prosecution service of Gwangju said on Wednesday it has asked the court to summarily fine the Hungarian swimmer with 3 million South Korean won (US$2,542) on charges of sexual harassment, which equals 730,000 Hungarian forints.
featured photo: Tamás Kovács/MTI