French Figure Skating Head Defies Call to Resign

The head of French figure skating refused his government’s contact to phase down in excess of the federation’s handling of alleged sexual abuse, reflecting the uneven reaction by athletics officers to a reckoning that is spanning many countries and athletics.

Athletics Minister

Roxana Maracineanu

this week identified as on

Didier Gailhaguet

to resign right after a book and a report in the every day athletics newspaper L’Equipe explained the rape and assault of younger skaters by a coach who was fired as a complex adviser to the federation in 2001 right after an investigation—but continued to get the job done with the federation till 2018, as perfectly as coaching at a area club till final week. Prosecutors claimed this week that they would open an investigation into the promises in opposition to the coach.

In a push convention on Wednesday, Gailhaguet claimed he would not resign, describing himself as “tarnished by really pathetic folks,” together with a “moralizing” athletics minister.

“I am distraught by the ladies, these girls, whose life have been damaged by bastards.…This is not the federation. The federation is 32,000 customers. Nearly two hundred clubs.…It is not a handful of sexual perverts with ‘the society of rape,’ ” he claimed.

Gailhaguet also claimed he had personally demanded the investigation of the coach, labored inside the constrained scope of his authority and concluded that “I have dedicated no grave errors.”


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“I can say I went outside of what was predicted of me in the position.…A athletics federation is not the police, it is not the authorities, and it absolutely is not the athletics ministry,” he claimed. “If anyone realized, then why didn’t everyone say something? It is much far too straightforward now to go on Tv plans and drool that anyone realized.”

Maracineanu didn’t straight away answer to Gailhaguet’s remarks, or remark on her upcoming measures. She had before claimed there was a “general dysfunction” inside the federation and that Gailhaguet had a “moral and individual responsibility” to depart.

Gailhaguet’s remarks echoed a lot of of the feedback provided by other athletics officers right after scandals with identical dynamics—though France has been slower than the U.S. to embrace a burgeoning Me Much too movement.

In the early times of thoughts in excess of their reaction to sex-abuse accusations in opposition to coaches—and later on workforce doctor

Larry Nassar

—U.S. gymnastics leaders emphasized that they weren’t a legislation-enforcement agency and that they weren’t responsible for member clubs. U.S. Olympic officers have criticized proposed federal legislation that would give Congress the capability to decertify national governing bodies or thrust out their management.

Athletes have claimed they feared talking out about what they realized, in part simply because they felt it would risk their spot on an Olympic workforce. American lawmakers have claimed abuse promises spanning athletics together with