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 read more

Assistant coach Knight uses own flaws to instill coaching values at Syracuse

first_imgBrendon Knight didn’t have a team to play for.His junior hockey league team had just lost its final game, and there were no Division I college hockey offers waiting for him. So he drove over 2,000 miles across Canada to Calgary and lived with his uncle while working a dead-end job filling orders in a grocery store warehouse.“I just found myself surrounded by my coworkers that had been working at that job for like 15–20 years and I was looking at them saying to myself, ‘I don’t want to end up like these guys,’” Knight said.SUNY-Potsdam assistant coach Jay Green heard Knight wasn’t playing anywhere and called him. Desperate just to play again, Knight accepted the offer.Twenty years later, Knight is in his third season as an assistant with Syracuse. After playing for the Bears, and then for Isle of Wight Raiders in the England Premier League, Knight began his coaching career. At SU, Knight focuses on the forwards and special teams units, including an improved penalty kill unit that has killed off 86 percent of opponent’s power plays in the last six games.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textKnight teaches his players to not make the mistakes that he made when he played. Though he had trouble with listening to coaches when he was younger, as a coach he’s tried to connect with the players and show them they still have a lot to learn.“He does a good job of showing he knows the game and he’s a caring guy,” SU head coach Paul Flanagan said. “I know he’s created a very good bond with (the players) as a group.”Despite being talented, boasting soft hands and an accurate shot, Knight frustrated a lot of coaches.When Knight would slack off during games, his father, John Knight, would yell “hustle” from the stands. But because no one in Quebec knew what the word meant, they thought John Knight was calling his son an asshole.A stubborn Knight thought he knew more than those trying to help him — including his parents and coaches.“If you’re the biggest fish in the pond, you’re not the biggest fish in the ocean,” John Knight said. “But if you’re the biggest fish in the pond, it’s hard to convince the kid to grow.”Too small for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, which he was drafted into at 16, Knight wanted to play for a college in the United States.He received letters from D-I programs including Harvard, but unfamiliar with the NCAA recruiting system, Knight thought they were generic letters and he never followed up on the schools’ inquiries.“I wasn’t exactly the hardest worker off the ice,” Knight said. “I didn’t really put in a lot of time. I relied heavily on my so-called talent, I guess, and that only brought me so far.”At the age of 18, Knight wasn’t playing hockey in Calgary and felt that something was missing.So he had his dad shipped his hockey equipment to him and Knight started playing in a local men’s league. For the first time in his life, he started working out. After just nine months, he started playing for SUNY-Potsdam.Success with Potsdam soothed Knight’s relationship with the sport and after college he spent a year playing in England. For the first time in his career, he was put on the penalty kill and asked to be a two-way player, blocking shots for the first time.Knight was planning for another year in Europe when Potsdam called again about a coaching position. Wanting to extend his career with the sport that had consumed his life, Knight retired from playing in 2002 to start his career behind the bench.After three years coaching at Potsdam, then six at Hamilton, Knight made his way to Syracuse in 2012.Now, he tries to use his own strained relationship with coaches and hot shot mentality from his playing career as a cautionary tale to his current players.“I think that’s the biggest mistake with the young hockey players today, they think that they know it all,” Knight said. “And I’m here to tell them that we don’t … I don’t know if it works all the time but hopefully a couple of them understand that.” Comments Published on January 20, 2015 at 12:07 am Contact Jon: jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettus Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more