Sugar Land Olympic taekwondo coach Jean Lopez banned for sexual misconduct

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Thursday, April 5, 2018
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Olympic coach Jean Lopez banned for sexual misconduct involving a minor.

Olympic taekwondo coach Jean Lopez has been banned from the sport, the U.S. Center for SafeSport ruled on Tuesday.

Jean Lopez, the older brother of Olympic gold medalist Steven Lopez, is permanently ineligible from participating in Olympic related taekwondo events because of sexual misconduct and sexual misconduct involving a minor.

Both brothers are from Sugar Land.

Last summer, USA Today reported that USA Taekwondo had opened an investigation against the brothers after multiple women said the brothers sexually assaulted them.

At the time, the brothers denied the allegations.

"I've never been inappropriate with anyone," Jean Lopez told the Associated Press.

Jean Lopez was accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Heidi Gilbert, a former athlete. She told the USA Today that she did not contact law enforcement officials because "they're not going to believe me, nothing is going to happen."

Mandy Meloon, a former taekwondo participant, also accused Jean Lopez of molesting her in 1997 when she was 16.

Statement released by Jean Lopez:

"As a coach, I have always been proud of the positive influences I've had on my students. Whether training an Olympian or a budding champion, I have been committed to represent with the utmost integrity and morals. For over 30 years, I have served the sport of Taekwondo, with an impeccable record and unwavering gratitude for the fans. Today's recommendation will be appealed and I will continue to serve the sport I know and love, Taekwondo. It is an absolute fact that these claims against me are not true. I look forward to continuing to be part of a sport that is conducted with respect and dignity."

Information from the Associated Press and ESPN were used in this report.