Apr 3, 2021 - World

Over 400 French sports figures suspected of sexual abuse

Picture of French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu

French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu. Photo: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images

More than 400 French coaches, teachers and other figures are suspected of sexual abuse or helping to cover it up, a new report by the French sports ministry released Friday revealed, AP reports.

Why it matters: Majority of the victims were under 15 years old, and the abuse included sexual assault, harassment or other violence, AP notes.

  • More than 100 individuals have been removed from their positions and 60 people have faced criminal proceedings.
  • Investigations are still underway in the rest of the cases.

Context: The investigation started in February 2020, after French skating champion Sarah Abitbol said in her autobiography that she had been raped by her coach Gilles Beyer between 1990 and 1992.

  • Abitbol's accusation inspired more athletes to come forward with their experiences with inappropriate behavior from coaches
  • As a response, the sports ministry, headed by Roxana Maracineanu, created a platform for athletes to report their concerns in addition to months of hearings.
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