By Gary Anderson

Seiko Hashimoto has apologised for her behaviour at a party in Sochi where she was seen hugging and kissing figure skater Daisuke Takahashi ©Getty ImagesJapan Skating Federation President and Tokyo 2020 Executive Board member Seiko Hashimoto has apologised for her behaviour at a post Sochi 2014 party at which she was seen kissing and embracing figure skater Daisuke Takahashi.

Pictures emerged last week showing 49-year-old Hashimoto hugging and kissing former world champion Takahashi at what was described as an "alcohol fuelled" party at the Athletes' Village in Sochi at the end of the Winter Olympic Games.

Japanese magazine Shukan Bunshun claimed that Hashimoto "pounced" on the 28-year-old skater "who eventually resigned and accepted her kisses", leading to accusations of sexual harassment.

Vancouver 2010 bronze medallist Takahashi has since denied that he was the victim of any unwanted attention from Hashimoto, describing the incident as "two adults getting a little out of control".

The episode has caused a storm in Japan and mother-of-three Hashimoto has now apologised for her behaviour describing it as "shameful".

"I am deeply sorry for the concern and the trouble I caused everyone from the report about my behaviour," said Hashimoto, who represented Japan at four Winter Olympic Games in speed skating - including at Albertville 1992 where she won a bronze medal - and three Summer Games in track cycling.

"The party was organised to celebrate the athletes' efforts and recognise their services, but my behaviour was shameful and I am reflecting deeply on that."

Seiko Hashimoto was serving as the Chef de Mission to the Japan team at Sochi 2014 ©Getty ImagesSeiko Hashimoto was serving as the Chef de Mission to the Japan team at Sochi 2014
©Getty Images

Hashimoto, who was in Sochi acting as the team's Chef de Mission, is Japan's most influential female sports administrator.

She has been a member of the Liberal Democratic Party since being elected to office in 1995 and as well as being head of skating in Japan, she also serves as head of development at the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC).

Hashimoto had been expected to be handed a more senior role in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Government following a planned Cabinet reshuffle next month to tie in with his pledge of boosting the number of women in senior positions by 2020 when Tokyo will host the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

But, despite the massive controversy, Hashimoto will not face any disciplinary action from the JOC. 

JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda said: "We have looked at the whole picture and as a result, we are not thinking of making this into a problem."

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