The Paris Prosecutor’s office Thursday announced that it had opened an investigation on around 20 figure-skating coaches over alleged raping and sexual assaults.
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The investigation came after former Olympic medalist Sarah Abitbol published a book where she accused her coach Gilles Beyer of raping her several times between 1990 and 1992 when she was between 15 and 17 years old. Beyer was released from his duties immediately.
Ice Sports Federation (FFSG) president Didier Gailhaguet had also to resign after the case came to light. Nevertheless, he claims he was not aware of any abuse.
However, during a private inquiry, the Ministry of Sports discovered that at least 20 coaches were suspects of sexual harassment and physical or verbal violence.
“Since the investigation found facts that could be classified as criminal offenses, the head of the IGESR informed ministers that she would forward the report to the public prosecutor in Paris,” the sports ministry said in a statement.
The French ministry of sports Roxana Maracineanu said that “The volume of cases identified is indicative of repeated practices and behaviors that have been passed through generations of coaches in the FFSG’s main disciplines of figure skating and ice dancing. It is unparalleled internationally.”