PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — Canadian ski cross racer Dave Duncan is apologizing for “behaviour that demonstrated poor judgement” after being released from jail following an alleged drunken joyride at the Pyeongchang Games.
The Canadian Olympic Committee confirmed in a statement Sunday that Duncan, his wife Maja and Canadian technical coach William Raine had been detained by police in South Korea and were now released. The statement came after an investigator with the Gangwon Provincial Police Department told The Canadian Press the two Canadians and an American woman were arrested for allegedly drunk driving and stealing a car.
A joint statement from the Duncans offering an apology did not offer specifics, saying only their behaviour “was not up to the standards expected of us as members of the Canadian Olympic Team or as Canadians.” But Raine singled out “the owner of the vehicle that was involved” in his statement.
“I would like to apologize profusely for my inexcusable actions,” Raine said. ”Words are not enough to express how sorry I am. I have let my teammates, friends and my family down.”
Raine is the son of Canadian skiing legend Nancy Greene.
Police say the group stole a car while drunk and drove it to the athletes’ village. Detective Heejun Lee told The Canadian Press that Duncan was not the driver of the vehicle.
He said the driver had a blood alcohol level of .162 — the legal limit is .05 — and the vehicle stolen was a Hummer.
One of the people in the vehicle was passed out when arrested, he said.
Drunk driving in South Korea can result in imprisonment up to three years or a fine of up to $11,750 Canadian.
Duncan, a 35-year-old from London, Ont., was fourth in the men’s ski cross small final on Wednesday, putting him eighth overall.
The incident is a black mark on what has been Canada’s best-ever performance at a Winter Olympics with 28 medals won, including Sebastien Toutant winning big air gold on Saturday.
One of the Canadian team’s slogans for the Pyeongchang Games is “Be Virtuous, Be Victorious, Be Olympic.”
“We expect our athletes and team members to conduct themselves responsibly and in keeping with our Canadian and Olympic values,” Canadian Olympic Committee CEO Chris Overholt said in the statement released Sunday. “We are deeply disappointed in the behaviours of these individuals. All team members are expected to respect the laws of South Korea and all places we compete in around the world.”
The COC abruptly cancelled a scheduled news conference Saturday morning with women’s ski cross racers Kelsey Serwa and Brittany Phelan, who had won gold and silver respectively the previous day.