Early Sunday morning, Hungarian Olympian Tamas Kenderesi was arrested on allegations of sexual harassment in Gwangju, South Korea. The events in question occurred at a nightclub; a source told SwimSwam Kenderesi was at nightclub Coyote Ugly when it collapsed early Saturday morning.
Kenderesi was released back to the Athletes’ Village after questioning Sunday but reportedly has to remain in South Korea for 10 days while the investigation continues.
The 22-year-old explained his side of the situation in a statement released by the Hungarian Swimming Federation Sunday evening. This article originally had a statement translated from Hungarian, but the federation has since provided a version in English to ensure proper translation:
“Saturday night, in a club, upon coming back from the toilets and heading towards the dancing floor I touched a Korean girl’s buttocks who was working as a dancer in this club. I did not even stop behind her, I took only a single, perhaps onthoughtful move which eventually seriously angered this girl who filed a complaint against me.Understanding the seriousness of the situation, I was absolutely cooperative throughout the entire process.At the police station I was told that they possess the footage of the security cameras in place though they did not show me any part of that. Based on that possible evidence, I honestly believe that my words shall be justified by the footage that 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.I deeply regret what happened and I wish to beg the Korean girl’s pardon in case I offended her, but I have to strongly deny that I’m guilty in any kind of sexual harassment.”
The Federation added that is it doing its best to “undoubtedly clarify” the allegations against Kenderesi.
“During the investigation phase, the Hungarian national team member is entitled to a presumption of innocence, but if officially proven guilty, MÜSZ will ask the alliance’s disciplinary committee to take further action,” the Federation said.
It added: “The Hungarian Swim Federation condemns any act that violates human dignity, and always requires members of the Hungarian Swim Team to behave in a manner that is respectful of national colors and sports traditions. Violators of these principles may face penalties commensurate with the gravity of the offense committed.”
Kenderesi was the bronze medalist in the 200 fly in Rio three years ago. He took eighth in the final of the event last week at Worlds after he, along with Antani Ivanov, were involved in an unsual swim-off to make the race; it was Kenderesi’s only event at these championships.