The Japan Wrestling Federation’s development director Kazuhito Sakae has been accused of harassing four-time Olympic wrestling champion Kaori Icho repeatedly. He has denied the allegation.

In this August 8, 2012 file photo, gold medalist Kaori Icho of Japan, participates in the awards ceremony for 63-kg women's freestyle wrestling at the 2012 Summer Olympics, in London.
In this August 8, 2012 file photo, gold medalist Kaori Icho of Japan, participates in the awards ceremony for 63-kg women's freestyle wrestling at the 2012 Summer Olympics, in London. ( AP )

A senior official of the Japan Wrestling Federation has been accused of harassing four-time Olympic wrestling champion Kaori Icho by interfering with her training.

Kyodo news agency reported on Thursday that a person close to the matter lodged a complaint against Kazuhito Sakae by submitting a letter to a Cabinet Office committee in January.

The complaint said the 57-year-old Sakae began harassing Icho in 2008 after she moved her training base to Tokyo against Sakae's will.

It also alleges that Sakae banned Icho from using a Metropolitan Police Department training facility shortly before the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics, where she became the first female athlete to win four consecutive Olympic titles in an individual event.

Sakae has denied the allegation and the federation released a statement on Thursday saying it had "never obstructed or limited Icho's training."

The Cabinet Office confirmed that it received the complaint in January and said it will investigate.

Source: AP