Jang Yun-jung has been banned for life by the KSOC after alleged abuse ©Getty Images

South Korean triathlon coach Kim Kyu-bong and team captain Jang Yun-jung have had their lifetime bans upheld by the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC) for their alleged abusing of triathlete Choi Suk-hyeon, who took her own life.

Kim and Jang were handed the bans by the Korean Triathlon Federation (KTF), but the pair appealed to the KSOC, but the governing body rejected their plea.

Kim was the head coach of Gyeongju City Hall's semi-professional club.

KSOC also upheld a ten year ban to another Gyeongju triathlete Kim Do-hwan for their part in the alleged abuse.

They were all accused of having verbally and physically abused former Gyeongju triathlete Choi, who committed suicide on June 26.

Before her passing, Choi had filed complaints with local police, as well as with KSOC and KTF.

Her pleas were only answered after her death, with KTF taking action on July 6.

Kim Do-hwan has since admitted to wrongdoing and apologised to the family of Choi, but their suspension was not affected.

Choi Suk-hyeon took her own life after physical and verbal abuse by two teammates and a coach ©ITU
Choi Suk-hyeon took her own life after physical and verbal abuse by two teammates and a coach ©ITU

Coach Kim and Jang have maintained their innocence.

Their appeals were submitted on July 14, with KSOC holding the review on Wednesday July 29.

KSOC's disciplinary committee said none of the three attended the hearing and did not send legal representatives, with KSOC stating that their submitted written appeals were not enough to lessen their original penalties.

"Members of our committee concluded that no form of violence could ever be tolerated," said Kim Byung-cheol, head of the KSOC's disciplinary committee.

"We've spoken to the KSOC about the pressing need to prevent similar incidents in the future and to better protect athletes."

Choi had kept a diary detailing abusive behaviour from her coach and two older teammates, including audio recordings of occasions where she was apparently abused.

Many other Gyeongju teammates stepped forward with their own allegations of being abused after Choi's passing.