Former French skaters come forward about sexual abuse in FFSG

rain

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Jul 29, 2003
Yes, an emergency meeting of the FFSG board has been ordered: https://www.lequipe.fr/Patinage-art...eration-francaise-des-sports-de-glace/1107640

The president of the French Ice Sports Federation resigned from his post on Saturday after a federal council at the FFSG.

Didier Gailhaguet resigned from the presidency of the French Ice Sports Federation on Saturday after a federal council.

" For the sake of appeasement alone, with philosophy, with dignity, and without any bitterness, faced with this injustice, with my head held high, I took the wise decision to resign," declared the now ex-president of the FFSG.

Earlier this week, the Minister of Sports, Roxana Maracineanu, asked him to leave office after receiving him to discuss the revelations of several media including L'Équipe on cases of sexual violence in the FFSG. Didier Gailhaguet had initially refused to submit his resignation in the face of what he called " oukase ".

On Saturday, Gailhaguet again criticized the attitude of the minister, chasing after him " a sacrificial victim ".
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Even in his 'farewell' he refused to acknowledge any misconduct from his part. This man's arrogance (or indifference?) knows no limits?

Now, the whole breadth, depth and size of this scandal must be disclosed, who did what, who knew what and covered up, who acted, who lied, and all incriminated need to be judged, sentenced and punished to the full extent of the law.

Then, of course, subsequent measures must be taken to ensure child and youth protection at all levels, in every sport.

We'll see what the French society and its politicians make of this and how steadfast Mme Maracineanu is.



I hope this will also get investigated, given Gailhaguet's power and total control, financial malversations are a real possibility.

The sheer gall of the man to pretend that he is somehow a victim and that this is an injustice! What a repulsive snake. It appears he has conspired to keep criminals from facing any sort of justice, resignation isn't enough of a punishment (and as others have said, it's certainly not beyond him to try to come back). He's been a blight on figure skating for too long.
 

Mia29

On the Ice
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Nov 6, 2014
Brian Joubert, after Didier Gailhaguet's resignation: "I've always liked him as a person".

On the sidelines of the French Junior Championships in Charleville-Mézières, former world champion Brian Joubert reacted on Saturday to the resignation of Didier Gailhaguet from the presidency of the FFSG.
 
Brian Joubert (2007 world champion, Poitiers coach), after Didier Gailhaguet's resignation from the presidency of the Federation of Ice Sports (FFSG): “I had said that Didier (Gailhaguet), whatever happens, would make the right decision for the Federation. If he decided to step down as president, it was because he felt it was the best thing to do. For me, I've always liked him as a person, whether he is president or not. But life goes on no matter what. You have to think about sport, we are at the French Junior Championships, there are the Junior World Championships, the World Championships coming. I hope we can focus on this a little more.

The problem is that we accused Didier a lot, but he was not the one who touched them, who made the rapes. Many people wanted him to leave. These people are relieved but it will still be necessary to resolve this problem of violence."

Brian Joubert said more and all wasn't about Gailhaguet. Title of the article : "This problem of sexual, physical and moral violence will have to be resolved"
https://www.lunion.fr/id129992/arti...faudra-bien-resoudre-ce-probleme-de-violences

We know that Gailhaguet and Joubert have always had a special relationship, so I think that when it affects you personally, there is a form of denial. The rest of his interview seems to me the most interesting and there are some good questions. He said that figure skating had to fight against all types of violence, it’s a social problem, asked what the government planned to do and said that a student had a hand on her butt in the subway.

I am happy with Gailhaguet's resignation, but it would be too simple to think that he is solely responsible.
For example, we know that Gilles Beyer's brother is a club president. Did he resign? I haven't read anything. Someone here said that Morgan Ciprès was also in his club. No one seems to worry that the president of the club is staying or not ? oh ok... .

We know that the minister had alerted the justice system. There has been no trial and not even sure that there has been an investigation. Why? how many people were nterviewed? At the time, Hubert had spoken on TV about Beyer's behavior.

We are talking about the sport system, but a predator is a predator outside of the skating rinks too. To ban them from the sport world is a step but let them free because justice does nothing is terrible
 

Harriet

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Some initial information about Pechalat's plans for her candidature, from her campaign launch (I can't find any detailed media coverage but I'm sure some will emerge soonish). A rough translation of what's in her instagram post: she is planning a program with four 'axes' (focuses?), namely sports practice and performance at all levels for all of the ice sports represented in the FFSG, sporting ethics and integrity training with an emphasis on combatting all forms of violence, the restructuring of the federation and the restoration of its image/reputation.

Paul Peret notes that her announcement included the statement that she has support from both current and retired skaters, club presidents and judges.

So far, the only other announced candidate is Marie-Reine Le Gougne. Yes, that's right, the judge involved in the SLC cheating incident, who appears to be claiming that she is an agent for change, stands up for skaters and did not, despite having received a three-year suspension for cheating, cheat at SLC, which is an impressive bit of revisionist history. Oh, and that Pechalat's candidacy is supported by the same people who supported Gailhaguet. (The article is in French and behind a paywall, but here.) If any other people have put their names forward I haven't seen them yet.

The election will be on 14 March. The investigation into the FFSG ordered by the Minister for Sports will, if I remember the timeline correctly, be completed before then.
 

Edwin

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So the old guard is still trying to pull strings by extension through the new candidates? IIRC, Mme Pechalat condemned the witch hunt after Gailhaguet?

What about the criminal investigation into Gilles Beyer? Are his sexual crimes against minors expired?

The then minor victims and their parents have been heard by criminal investigators: https://www.lequipe.fr/Patinage-art...les-beyer-entendue-par-les-enqueteurs/1111856

And other accusations are being investigated: https://www.lequipe.fr/Patinage-art...men-et-ecroue-pour-viols-sur-mineures/1111776

Of course the question remains: what did FFSG know, hid, failed to act upon, who protected who, who was victimised and the whole rotten acts of people in charge protecting themselves and their friends at the expense of children and youths.

"Sexual violence: the CNOSF will set up an operational group to assist federations and clubs" : https://www.lequipe.fr/Tous-sports/...onnel-d-aide-aux-federations-et-clubs/1112234

Background article (paywalled): https://www.lequipe.fr/Tous-sports/...iolences-sexuelles-le-grand-mea-culpa/1112066
 

karne

in Emergency Backup Mode
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While the old fed still stands, DG's slimy tentacles will be everywhere. Nuclear option sports minister, please!
 

Harriet

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While the old fed still stands, DG's slimy tentacles will be everywhere. Nuclear option sports minister, please!

I would prefer a bomb drop too, but I can understand current athletes (across all of the disciplines represented by the FFSG) preferring an option that will help without completely disrupting everyone's careers and all the lower-ranked participants' access too.

I haven't yet seen any details of the other candidates' plans as yet; has nothing been published yet or is just all lurking behind paywalls at the moment? All I've seen being discussed on social media so far are the alleged moral and ethical deficiencies of Pechalat's proposal that render it utterly beneath the pale, because of course...

ETA: Aha! Here's a bit of information regarding Damien Boyer-Gibaud's platform: https://twitter.com/DamBoyerGibaud/status/1230795231303520257
 

flanker

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There is now an article on BBC news:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-51425860

Currently in the top 10 most read news articles on the UK site.

I saw the video in the article and must make a legal note, because there is a false information in it, when comparing the qualification of rape across the european countries. Czech Republic is there ranked among the states where the act is qualified as a rape only through the violence, which is not true. The qualification of rape in the czech criminal code says:

Whoever
forces another person to have sexual intercourse
by violence
or by a threat of violence,
or a threat of other serious detriment,
or whoever exploits the person’s vulnerability for such an act,
shall be sentenced...

The bold part means the situation when the victim can't give a consent or express disagreement e.g. due to unconsciousness or another similar situation. So it is not true what they say in the reportage. By the way, this formulation is very old, while in many "modern" countries they adopted it just recently, we have it since 1961.

Sorry for this interpolation.
 

Edwin

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Nathalie Pechalat taking sides defending her husband from working with child sex abuser Roman Polanski: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9HnGA8ILAp/

Madame Pechalat very much seems like a pawn belonging to the Gailhaguet camp.

What is the background and position of the other candidates in the March 14 election of a new President?

Philippe Candeloro has withdrawn his candidacy: https://www.lequipe.fr/Patinage-art...-de-la-federation-des-sports-de-glace/1114670

However, he believes that " the elections of March 14 are premature and that no candidate has been able to properly prepare to" take on "such a role". On the other hand, he is a candidate to join the Federal Council.

Another candidate, Damien Boyer-Gibaud, isn't without his own past and present controversies: https://www.lequipe.fr/Patinage-art...ibaud-une-candidature-qui-fait-parler/1113189
 

DSQ

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Nathalie Pechalat taking sides defending her husband from working with child sex abuser Roman Polanski: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9HnGA8ILAp/

Madame Pechalat very much seems like a pawn belonging to the Gailhaguet camp.

What is the background and position of the other candidates in the March 14 election of a new President?

Philippe Candeloro has withdrawn his candidacy: https://www.lequipe.fr/Patinage-art...-de-la-federation-des-sports-de-glace/1114670

However, he believes that " the elections of March 14 are premature and that no candidate has been able to properly prepare to" take on "such a role". On the other hand, he is a candidate to join the Federal Council.

Wife stands by her husband, more at 11.

Reading the insta post she just says that the film is an important story in history and she’s only qualified to talk about sport.

I certainly wouldn’t want anyone I know to associate with that man but it’s important to actually judge her by her own actions.
 

karne

in Emergency Backup Mode
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Wife stands by her husband, more at 11.

Reading the insta post she just says that the film is an important story in history and she’s only qualified to talk about sport.

I certainly wouldn’t want anyone I know to associate with that man but it’s important to actually judge her by her own actions.

Defense of a paedophile should immediately have her disqualified from the race. Especially given the context. What a slap in the face for victims.
 

Harriet

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Australia
Wife stands by her husband, more at 11.

Reading the insta post she just says that the film is an important story in history and she’s only qualified to talk about sport.

I certainly wouldn’t want anyone I know to associate with that man but it’s important to actually judge her by her own actions.

I'm certainly not interested in judging her by - or blaming her for - her husband's choices, but while she's done some very good work up to this point I'm increasingly feeling like she isn't going to be effective in dealing with the enormous problem that is sexual abuse of skaters within the FFSG. OTOH I feel the same about all the other candidates at this point too. They're all invested in the organisation continuing and that means they're all talking in a way that minimises dealing with the perpetrators of abuse and centres cleaning up the image of the FFSG.

That's so not what's needed. Its image is tarnished for a very good reason and should stay tarnished, so to borrow a phrase from Terry Pratchett, since it's not working, break it.
 

DSQ

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Tbh Harriet I agree. There is a point where they should just get rid of the French Fed and have the GP and such controlled by the government directly while the sort this out.

I don’t know much about the candidates if I’m honest. However first things first all current accused in the Fed should be suspended for the next six months until this can be sorted out.
 

Andrea82

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Feb 16, 2014
Péchalat's programme is now online

https://nathaliepechalat.wixsite.com/ffsg

The list of her backers:

Florent Amodio (ex patineur artistique)
Gérard Balthazard (président de club - Grenoble)
Laetitia Barrau (présidente de club - Castres)
Pierre Baudouin (entraineur danse sur glace - Bordeaux)
Francis Betsch (juge international)
Margot Boch (bobeuse)
Stephanie Bouvier (ex short trackeuse)
Pernelle Carron (ex danseuse sur glace)
Guillaume Cizeron (danseur sur glace)
Anne-Sophie Druet (entraineur synchronisé - Rouen)
Pascal Girardot (président de club - Lyon)
Marie-Laure Hamel (entraineur artistique - Alès)
Christine Hurt (juge internationale)
Didier Lucine (entraineur artistique - Annecy)
David Molina (juge international)
Celine Mothes (présidente de club - Asnières)
Gabriella Papakadis (danseuse sur glace)
André Philippe (président de ligue - Centre)
Véronique Pierron (short trackeuse)
Alban Préaubert (ex patineur artistique)
Fabienne Sebag (présidente de club - Boulogne Billancourt)
 

dcnative

On the Ice
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Dec 20, 2011
I feel that Candeloro is correct in that no one is prepared to step in and take on the role; and that leaves the elected/selected/chosen candidate vulnerable to the previous campaign/plan that was in place. However, someone needs to halt the wheel and at least TRY to turn it in the right direction.
 
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