Education board dismisses ex-Olympian rower for molesting minor

Hiroshi Mitome coached students at schools in Aga (Niigata Prefecture Rowing Association)
Hiroshi Mitome coached students at schools in Aga (Niigata Prefecture Rowing Association)

NIIGATA – The board of education in the town of Aga has dismissed a former Olympic rower now working as a coach for molesting an underage girl, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Jan. 21).

Earlier this month, Hiroshi Mitome, 55, who prior to his sacking was a rowing coach at a number of schools, kissed an rubbed the breasts of the girl.

Mitome admits to the allegations. “I am sorry for causing trouble to the victim and those involved,” Mitome is quoted. “It was inexcusable.”

The board was made aware of the incident on January 12. Mitome was relieved of his duties eight days later.

Mitome competed as a rower for Japan in the Men’s Coxed Eights at the Olympic Games held in Barcelona, Spain in 1992. Japan finished in 13th place. Several years later, he became a rowing coach at elementary, middle and high schools in Aga.

“In having a supervisory position over children, indecent acts with minors are not permissible,” said Kazuo Kiyono, the superintendent of education, according to the Mainichi Shimbun (Jan. 22).

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