Former French skaters come forward about sexual abuse in FFSG

Harriet

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Updates from the French Minister for Sports's meeting with Didier today, from Twitterers who have been following this closely: the Minister has effectively asked Didier to resign (I believe the official wording was 'she expects him to hold himself responsible'). She's also asked for a full investigation to be done by the Prosecutor's Office and has withdrawn the state's 'delegation' (I'm not sure how to translate that term - authorisation? support? authority to act?) from the FFSG, which is the first step towards defunding and decertifying it. In other words, the nuclear option has been invoked, the FFSG has 15 days to prove that it isn't a complete mess, and if it can't, kaboom, basically no more FFSG in any way that counts. Which may mean that it won't be able to send athletes to Worlds (though that's not the same as saying no French athletes will be able to compete - there may be workarounds that can be found).

Didier has so far refused to resign.

Phillipe Candeloro is speaking out publicly to back up Sarah Abitbol and Gwendal Peizarat, as he has before. Sarah Abitbol apparently got in touch with him and other 'elders' of the sport to let him know she was about to go public with her story shortly before her book was published, and they have been lining up to have their say. He is front of the line and as in 2014 he is not holding back.

ETA: Ooop, no, update: He's not 'refusing to resign', he's 'refusing to answer the question' and 'taking time to think about things'. Which is kind of the same thing said a different way and with wiggle room available. Press conference in two days' time.
 

Edwin

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Updates from the French Minister for Sports's meeting with Didier today, from Twitterers who have been following this closely: the Minister has effectively asked Didier to resign (I believe the official wording was 'she expects him to hold himself responsible'). She's also asked for a full investigation to be done by the Prosecutor's Office and has withdrawn the state's 'delegation' (I'm not sure how to translate that term - authorisation? support? authority to act?) from the FFSG, which is the first step towards defunding and decertifying it. In other words, the nuclear option has been invoked, the FFSG has 15 days to prove that it isn't a complete mess, and if it can't, kaboom, basically no more FFSG in any way that counts. Which may mean that it won't be able to send athletes to Worlds (though that's not the same as saying no French athletes will be able to compete - there may be workarounds that can be found).

Didier has so far refused to resign.

Phillipe Candeloro is speaking out publicly to back up Sarah Abitbol and Gwendal Peizarat, as he has before. Sarah Abitbol apparently got in touch with him and other 'elders' of the sport to let him know she was about to go public with her story shortly before her book was published, and they have been lining up to have their say. He is front of the line and as in 2014 he is not holding back.

ETA: Ooop, no, update: He's not 'refusing to resign', he's 'refusing to answer the question' and 'taking time to think about things'. Which is kind of the same thing said a different way and with wiggle room available. Press conference in two days' time.

Thanks for the update, but I'd rather read some official press or govt publication. Prosecutor General, right, so with the full authority of the law. Raid the offices and quarters of the whole FFSG board for any evidence before it is destroyed.

HERE: https://www.lequipe.fr/Patinage-art...idier-gailhaguet-president-de-la-ffsg/1105996

L'Equipe provides a complete timeline and dossier, they shouldn't let go of the case now and keep the public informed and perhaps apply some investigative journalism themselves.

and Le Monde here: https://www.lemonde.fr/sport/articl...-gailhaguet-de-demissionner_6028277_3242.html

AFP should be a good source for translated news for the international media, but you probably need a subscription: https://www.afp.com/fr/infos/316/vi...didier-gailhaguet-lhomme-de-glace-doc-1oo0456
 

TallyT

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This sport is really a dirty sport with all these God damn cover ups and things. Abuses have been glossed over for decades. Tragic. Especially for the victims scared into silence.

I'm almost regretting getting sucked in by the three or four wonderful (and thankfully apparently clean) skaters I still dearly love, the grime that covers more than one Federation clogs the throat - and not just the bureaucrats, I haven't forgotten how many of the US fraternity rushed to support a pedophile, be damned to his victims, till the storm broke over them. And the score-fixing has made judging a joke for most of the millenium.

But this is waaay beyond.

And it's the honest and decent who pay by association.
 

ladyjane

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Kudos to Sarah! I am so glad she is getting support, even if the Federation is not doing so. And so pleased to see Philippe and Gwendal speaking up as well. As well as Guillaume (and Gabrielle). I wish Didier would step down, but they'll probably have to force him. I mean, he even had the nerve to put himself forward as candidate for being president of the ISU some years ago. He didn't succeed, thankfully, but it says a lot about the man - we all know why. But this is so much worse. But it seems (I know, I am speculating) this guy feels no shame. About anything.
 

Harriet

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Some further information, translated into English from an interview with the Minister for Sports: the Ministry and the French Olympic Committee will be cooperating to create a 'support committee' for current athletes that will have the power to send them to Worlds and other international competitions. It's described as a 'side committee', which I think means a new group temporarily running alongside the old Federation now that it's had the delegation withdrawn. The Minister doesn't have the power to create the new committee - the OC will have to do that - but she is willing to give the delegation to the new group, as that part is withiin her remit.

So no need to worry about French athletes being excluded from Worlds, Junior Worlds etc. There may be some funding hiccups coming but they will have the administrative backup they need to compete.
 

DSQ

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Seriously impressed with the French Minister for Sports, she definitely not just talking but some serious action. Everyone else should take notes!
 

Andrea82

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Feb 16, 2014
4 members of the Federation executive board (Bureau Exécutif), including Alban Préaubert and Jean-Bernard Hamel, resigned last night after an emergency meeting. The board had 16 members.
 

dcnative

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Dec 20, 2011
This news makes me so sad. I'm 100% sure that this is happening all over the world to our young athletes. I remember how people used to criticize Surya Bonaly's mother for having such a pervasive presence in her daughter's training regime but I'm wondering if she knew about these travesties and was determined to protect her child.

Kudos to all of the successful and popular French athletes that are supporting this exposure. I'm sure Sarah Abitbol is not the only popular athlete that experienced this but I remember watching her compete and perform so it really hits home.

I really hope that they clean house and that this starts a wave that goes all over the world to protect these children.
 

Harriet

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I'm not even going to try translating/recapping Didier G's 'press conference' today. It appears to have been a completely incoherent mess with only one consistent idea presented: that DG is the real victim here, who can't be asked to resign because he has made no mistakes.

No words, just a queasy feeling in my stomach and a lot of rage.

Nuclear option now, Minister? Pretty please with a cherry on top?
 

TontoK

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Seriously impressed with the French Minister for Sports, she definitely not just talking but some serious action. Everyone else should take notes!

This is necessary. It can be difficult for fans to keep up with everything.

One thing that impresses me is that there seems to be real concerns for the athletes. During the USA gymnastics debacle, I felt like the federation was more concerned with avoiding lawsuits than doing the right thing.
 

Eleanor

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Mar 23, 2018
I'm not even going to try translating/recapping Didier G's 'press conference' today. It appears to have been a completely incoherent mess with only one consistent idea presented: that DG is the real victim here, who can't be asked to resign because he has made no mistakes.

No words, just a queasy feeling in my stomach and a lot of rage.

Nuclear option now, Minister? Pretty please with a cherry on top?
I just watched it. It's getting massive media coverage here, a lot more than what I thought. I can not believe he has the guts to keep his position and act like he did what needed to be done. He has either a complex of God or completely lacks remorse and empathy.
I hope the Ministry goes all the way and destroy the federation. Competent people will father together again and start from scratch. The rest can go to the trash and stay there. It's time to take control !
 

Edwin

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I just watched it. It's getting massive media coverage here, a lot more than what I thought. I can not believe he has the guts to keep his position and act like he did what needed to be done. He has either a complex of God or completely lacks remorse and empathy.
I hope the Ministry goes all the way and destroy the federation. Competent people will father together again and start from scratch. The rest can go to the trash and stay there. It's time to take control !

If Gailhauget is as competent in digging his own grave as he was in leading FFSG ....

I believe to have read he even blew the cover off Cipres, trying to divert attention?
 

Andrea82

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Feb 16, 2014
I believe to have read he even blew the cover off Cipres, trying to divert attention?

He said Cipres made a major, unacceptable, shameful mistake, that he resigned from federal council, he is now doing a curative treatment with a psychologist..here the full quote in French
https://www.lequipe.fr/Patinage-art...organ-cipres-a-fait-une-conn-honteuse/1106619


Does the board still support him, who has resigned yesterday?
.

Jean-Bernard HAMEL (treasurer)
Christophe LAMBERT (chairman of training commission)
Alban PREAUBERT (chairman of the national sports committee for figure skating)
Pascal HENRY (chairman of the extreme sports commission)
 

Harriet

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Does anyone here remember Nadjma Mahamoud, who won French Junior Nationals in 2014? Did anyone ever wonder, like I did, why she faded out from competition a couple of years ago with no retirement announcement made?

A new article has just been published by L'Equipe, summarised here due to the original being behind a paywall. Nadjma and her mother allege that Gilles Beyer tried to get Mme Mahamoud to have sex with him in exchange for teaching Nadjma for free, a campaign of harassment that went on for some time and included sexual comments about Nadjma's body and clothing. The family didn't have much money and couldn't afford to move to another club for training. Mme Mahamoud tried to keep the harassment a secret from Nadjma for her skating's sake, but eventually Nadjma saw some of the texts Beyer had sent her and left the club, and skating, altogether.

The journalist mentions seeing upwards of 120 texts from Beyer to Mme Mahamoud, sent during 2017 and 2018 from a number known to be Beyer's.

Unlike some of the historical allegations raised by Abitbol and others, apparently the recency of this case means it is investigable.
 

Edwin

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He said Cipres made a major, unacceptable, shameful mistake, that he resigned from federal council, he is now doing a curative treatment with a psychologist..here the full quote in French
https://www.lequipe.fr/Patinage-art...organ-cipres-a-fait-une-conn-honteuse/1106619





Jean-Bernard HAMEL (treasurer)
Christophe LAMBERT (chairman of training commission)
Alban PREAUBERT (chairman of the national sports committee for figure skating)
Pascal HENRY (chairman of the extreme sports commission)

Thanks, I coulnd't easily find the list of names of members of the board of directors. Why didn't the whole board voted misconfidence in their president? Are there still some ties undisclosed? Those who left are with clean hands and minds? The remainder all tied and tainted and going down along with their leader, the puppeteer?

Galhaguet the turncloak, and this Beyer guy, the worst of his kind, going after mother and child. Hope both get thoroughly investigated and will spend time in penitentiary, Beyer till his death. And there will be more to come once other victims feel empowered and some other officials will spill the beans on Beyer, Galhaguet and who knows else.

So Cipres is most likely done as a competitive skater for he appears to have confessed to Galhaguet about the USA Today allegations. In therapy for sexual aberrations involving minors, won't look good on his resume would it? But 'men have their needs', so he can find new employment as a 'male entertainer', LOL

If Cipres now is in therapy and advised/ordered to serve some kind of therapeutic 'community services' with a juvenile vice squad, why is he still touring Switzerland along with 13 year old Kimmy Repond, child model, the Swiss junior hope, on the same troupe? Or has he been withdrawn from Art on Ice? The December 2019 tour of France continued because there were no official allegations. Art on Ice will perhaps reconsider now.

The article also has Galhaguet mentioning Vanessa James, one more victim of Cipres' stupidity, but who is he trying to appease here?
 
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