PARIS: French prosecutors said Tuesday they had opened an investigation into claims of rape and sexual abuse of minors in figure skating following claims made by a former world championship medallist.
The probe will examine the allegations made by skater Sarah Abitbol that she was raped by coach Gilles Beyer between the ages of 15 and 17 and will also “attempt to identify all the other victims who suffered… offences of the same nature,” Paris-based prosecutor Remy Heitz said in a statement.
Last week Abitbol — a former world bronze medallist — published an autobiography in which she accused Beyer of raping her between 1990 and 1992.
Three other skaters also came forward with similar accusations against Beyer and two other skating coaches. Further allegations of underage sexual abuse emerged from former swimmers and tennis players.
Beyer admitted last week having had “intimate” and “inappropriate” relations with Abitbol, telling AFP he was “sincerely sorry”.
On Monday, Didier Gailhaguet — the president of the French ice sports federation — admitted to “mistakes” after Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu told him to quit.