By James Crook

Ryuji SonodaFebruary 2 - The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) have condemned the "inappropriate actions" of the country's former judo head coach Ryuji Sonoda.

Sonoda admitted that allegations from his athletes that he had slapped them and beat them with wooden sticks were "more or less true" as he announced his resignation on Thursday (January 31).

"The Japanese Olympic Committee found inappropriate behaviours conducted by a former Japanese national Judo coach most regrettable," said the statement.

"Violence has no place in sport and directly contradicts the values of the Olympic Movement.

"The JOC convened an emergency meeting with Executive Board members...and reaffirmed its policy to prevent violence in all sport.

"The meeting passed the following resolutions:

"Launch an emergency investigation to review all relevant facts thoroughly.

"The Investigation Committee will comprise JOC Board members and a third-party lawyer.

Ryuji Sonoda at London 2012Ryuji Sonoda, seen here at London 2012 celebrating with Kaori Matsumoto after she had won the gold medal in the lightweight division, has brought shame on the sport in Japan

"Conduct separate investigations for each national sport federation to confirm that similar misconduct has not occurred.

"We firmly believe in the dedication and integrity of Japanese athletes, and are confident that the Japanese sport community as a whole adheres to the highest levels of conduct and respect.

"JOC will implement all necessary measures to ensure that every national sport federation understands"

Sonoda was not punished by the All Japan Judo Federation (AJJF) who, after finding that the allegations were true, only sent a warning to coaches, saying that they "will face a harsher punishment if a similar incident happens in the future".

The news of the violence committed by Sonoda has further harmed the image of the sport in Japan after the country's double Olympic gold medallist Masato Uchishiba was yesterday sentenced to five-years imprisonment for raping a teenage girl that was part of a group of female judokas he was coaching.

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