A British member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has apologised after being sent home from the Winter Games in Pyeongchang following an altercation with a security guard.
The IOC also said it was “extremely sorry for the incident caused by Mr Adam Pengilly”, which has led to a diplomatic row with the local organising committee in South Korea.
Pengilly, a former skeleton rider who competed for Team GB at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics, said he ran past the security guard outside a hotel when he barred the way but denied pushing him over.
“I heard him shout ‘stop’ but didn’t turn around or look back. I have since heard that he fell over and has evidently suffered scratches, but I did not hear him fall or shout out,” Pengilly told insidethegames.
“At no point did I touch him and, although I have been told that footage makes it look as if I pushed him, this was not the case and, if anything, he was coming towards me. This was my mistake and my error and I am sorry – I should have turned around and I also apologise for swearing.”
The IOC advised Pengilly to return home at once and pointed out that his term is due to end later this month.
“The IOC wishes to apologise for the behaviour of one of its members,” a spokesperson said. “Following an interview with the IOC ethics and compliance officer he will leave the Olympic Games and South Korea with immediate effect.”
Pyeongchang organisers believe an apology is insufficient and want further talks with the IOC, according to local reports.
Pengilly, 40, is also vice-president of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation.