France’s ice skating chief resigns over coach sex abuse scandal

first_imgThe under-fire president of France’s ice skating federation Didier Gailhaguet resigned on Saturday over his handling of accusations that a former national coach raped a top skater when she was in her teens. Gailhaguet finally bowed to pressure from France’s sports minister to step down after former world championship medallist Sarah Abitbol accused coach Gilles Beyer of sexually assaulting her. Didier Gailhaguet had been under intense pressure to resign following claims that a coach raped a skater in her teens “In the spirit of conciliation, I took the sensible decision to resign with philosophy, dignity but no bitterness,” Gailhaguet, 66, announced after a meeting of the federation’s federal council in Paris. In an autobiography published last month, Abitbol alleged Beyer raped her several times from 1990 to 1992 when she was between the ages of 15 and 17. That claim led to accusations from other skaters. Helene Godard accused Beyer and another coach Jean-Roland Racle of sexual abuse when she was a minor. Loading… French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu Abitbol was unimpressed at Gailhaguet’s resignation, telling French news magazine L’Obs that “the entire federation where he had friends still has to be cleaned out”. “Those who remained quiet and supported his system are still there,” she added. A lawyer representing Beyer says his client is prepared to talk to prosecutors investigating claims of sexual abuse of minors. On Gailhaguet’s watch, Beyer, already Abitbol’s coach, took over as manager of the French national team. There were previous complaints of inappropriate behaviour, and in 2000 an inquiry led the sports ministry to remove Beyer from his technical role at the federation, but he remained a coach at one of France’s top skating clubs. Beyer held an executive position at the federation until 2018. Gailhaguet’s long period at the helm of French ice skating, which began in 1998 was interrupted by a three-year international ban following a judging scandal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics .center_img Read Also: Fed Cup: Sevastova stuns Serena Williams to keep Latvia alive In 2004 he was forced to stand down as federation boss over a critical auditor’s report, only to be reinstated as FFSG chief in 2007. Maryvonne Del Torchio, who heads the federation’s council, will take over as president in a caretaker capacity. Before the scandal erupted French ice skating’s reputation had already been tarnished by an investigation into US-based skater Morgan Cipres for allegedly sending lewd photographs to a 13-year-old girl. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Former skater Sarah Abitbol made the claims about coach Gilles Beyer in a newly-published autobiography Sports daily L’Equipe reported that the mother of another young skater claimed that Beyer sexually harassed and blackmailed her in 2017 and 2018 in return for coaching her daughter. Gailhaguet had initially refused calls from Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu to move aside, saying on Wednesday that he had “absolutely not protected Gilles Beyer” and protesting that he had found out about “90 percent of these incidents in the press and in a book… 10 days ago”. – ‘Dictatorship’ – In announcing his resignation, Gailhaguet hit out at “the ministerial dictatorship and in particular the shameful threat of withdrawing support” from the federation made by Maracineanu. The minister herself hailed Gailhaguet’s departure as “a first step”. “There is no other solution than to knock things down to rebuild again,” she said, adding: “We owe it to the victims.” Promoted Content6 Extreme Facts About Hurricanes14 Hilarious Comics Made By Women You Need To Follow Right NowCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayBest Car Manufacturers In The WorldWhy Do So Many Digital Assistants Have Feminine Names & Voices?What Is A Black Hole In Simple Terms?Which Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?A Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic BombsEvery Movie Starring Sylvester Stallone From Best To Worst7 Universities Where Getting An Education Costs A Hefty PennyMeghan And Harry’s Royal Baby: Everything You Need To Know8 Things That Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits Earthlast_img

Leave a Reply