Former French skaters come forward about sexual abuse in FFSG

Aglae

On the Ice
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Feb 14, 2018
Since yesterday evening, French news outlets have started to publish stories of sexual abuse suffered by former athletes in several sports, including figure skating. This is big enough that it made the front page of the biggest sport newspaper L'équipe (https://twitter.com/lequipe/status/1222404024504344577). In parallel, Sarah Abitbol, former World medalist in Pairs is releasing a book "Un si long silence" (Such a long silence) today telling the story of her abuse.

Here is a summary of the facts (I am not giving all the details written in the French press but it is still horrible, so don't read it if you feel it's too much) :
-> Sarah Abitbol has been abused and raped repeatedly by her coach Gilles Beyer between age 15 and 17.
-> Hélène Godard also has been raped twice by Gilles Beyer between age 13 and 14. She has then been abused by Jean-Roland Racle (7 times French champion) when she was living at his place between age 15 and 16. He was more than 30 years old at that time.
-> Anne Bruneteaux and Béatrice Dumur accuse Michel Lotz of abusing them when they were 13 and he was training them at the Asnières skating club.
-> An enquiry was led by the French Ministry of Sports on Gilles Beyer at the beginning of 2000s and concluded that he should leave his function as a coach of the French team. He has however continued to be involved in the French club Les Français Volants where he is still general manager as of today. He also manages the French team gala tour.

Here are a few good news to balance things a bit:
-> the whole thing is very well covered in the French news outlets, both the sport news and the general media (newspaper, TV, radio).
-> Didier Gaillaguet has been summoned by the French Ministry of Sport, it is very likely he will have to resign (https://twitter.com/East_From_Eden/status/1222635190671093760).

I hope this is a good summary, it is quite hard to gather everything that is coming out in the news today. I think there will be more soon. This twitter account translated a lot a things: https://twitter.com/East_From_Eden
 

Nirti

Medalist
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Thanks Aglae for having posted it here, you've very well summed-up all that came to the news since yesterday. We knew how the FFSG was crooked by bribery, now we discover a whole system of sexual abuses cover-up. Sadly, most of the facts are now subject to limitation by lapse of time (? not sure of my translation, "too old to be judged").

-> Didier Gaillaguet has been summoned by the French Ministry of Sport, it is very likely he will have to resign

May it can happen, and this time without comeback...
 

Harriet

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An enquiry was led by the French Ministry of Sports on Gilles Beyer at the beginning of 2000s and concluded that he should leave his function as a coach of the French team. He has however continued to be involved in the French club Les Français Volants where he is still general manager as of today. He also manages the French team gala tour.

It is probably not irrelevant to note that this point that Les Français Volants is James/Cipres's club.
 

Edwin

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Jan 5, 2019
Thanks for posting this. It will be interesting how FRA fed deals with this, and its duty to reform the sport and its culture.

Once the ball starts rolling, more victims will come forward, also in other federations.
 

Aglae

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Feb 14, 2018
Yes Gilles Beyer's club, les Français Volants is also James/Ciprès' club although they usually train in Florida. Ciprès posted some videos of him coaching the other French pairs at this club just before Euros.

Thanks for posting this. It will be interesting how FRA fed deals with this, and its duty to reform the sport and its culture.
Once the ball starts rolling, more victims will come forward, also in other federations.

The way I understand it, it is out of the fed's hands. The ministry is taking charge of the case. The next days will tell whether they do a good job or not.
Sarah Abitbol was interviewed on the most listened radio emission this morning. L'équipe, the newspaper that made the inquiry wrote articles on three federations: figure skating, tennis and swimming.
 

Eleanor

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Mar 23, 2018
I am speechless. Even the part about Didier asking for an interview is a blatant lie. He was summoned, it is not like the minister granted him an interview... -_-

THIS ! Once again, who is the poor intern who started on Monday and had to write that statement ? I can't believe they want to set the record straight regarding the so called inaccuracies when in one single day, they can't even be honest regarding the circumstances of the meeting between DG and the minster. They look like a bunch of amateurs. No wonders sexual predators could thrive with such idiots running the place.
 

Edwin

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THIS ! Once again, who is the poor intern who started on Monday and had to write that statement ? I can't believe they want to set the record straight regarding the so called inaccuracies when in one single day, they can't even be honest regarding the circumstances of the meeting between DG and the minster. They look like a bunch of amateurs. No wonders sexual predators could thrive with such idiots running the place.

Any links to the original sources?
 

rosy14

Final Flight
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Apr 2, 2016
The Sport Ministry has put in place some months ago a task force, so to speak, to inquire about sexual abuse. Nothing to compare to SafeSport,though . Gailhugeut ‘s position is delicate, because Sport Ministry has already asked, months and months ago, to remove Breyer completely from the FEd. But that didn’t happen. So now they’re menacing to remove all Federation’s board of executive and other big officials, first of all, of course, him. And money.
Besides all is happening after another shocking book about sexual abuse of teenagers has been published at the beginning of January. The perpetrator in this case is a famous writer and intellectual, who has never hidden his tendencies toward very young boys and girls, but notwithstanding that, he has always been well received in society, among top politicians, etc.
 

Finley

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Feb 19, 2014
A petition calling for the resignation of Didier G. has been opened:

Appel à la démission du Président de la Fédération Française de Patinage sur Glace (FFSG)

I signed. It felt like a small contribution and gesture of support to the survivors. The one single thing I could do other than just feel terrible about what happened to these women who were victimized when they were just girls.
 
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TontoK

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I never assumed this was a USA only problem.

I hope for the safety of all athletes, no matter where they train.
 

Eleanor

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Mar 23, 2018
Any links to the original sources?

Nope, I read that before the FFSG issued a statement. It was on Le Parisien and mant times, the articles are not free.


I just read another article, can't put the link either as it is for subscribers (it's in Le Parisien again) That article gives a really not flattering portrait of DG.
Once again, it is stated that he was summoned by our Minister of the Sport, as in he doesn't really have a say in the matter. She wants explanations.
A anonymous witness says that DG knew everything and covered it up. I quote "He gave young ladies to predators", "he knows everything about everyone...he is a pevert, a narcissist, a manipualtor" They also descrie a really hard working president of federation, capable of answering to emails at 2 a.m, knowing the system really well as well as every president of clubs in France.
Critics, including former Ministry Rama Yade called him out on his favoritism towards FS. Other disciplines are let down.

He needs to go
 

dorispulaski

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^^^^That is from the standard Predator's Playbook. Predators always say the relationship was consensual. Look at the trial of Harvey Weinstein in progress today for a similar defense.
 

Edwin

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From what I've heard, she has refused the apology. Good for her.

Rape is not 'an intimate relationship'.

His memories differ from hers?

What a piece of s...

“Men have their needs and these were pretty girls asking for it” will be his excuse.

We can only wish he and his accomplices who covered for him and perhaps even co-perpetrated will be punished to the full extent of the law.
 
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