Months ago, revelations of sexual assaults have been revealed in French Sports. Everything started with the release of former figure skater Sarah Abitbol’s book (Un Si Long Silence). In her book, she accused her former trainer Gilles Beyer of repeatedly raping her. Sarah’s courage marked the start of a wave of revelations related to sexual abuse in French sport. This scandal has led to the resignations of the president of the French Federation of Ice Sports Didier Gailhaguet, and the president of the French Federation of Roller Skateboarding Nicolas Belloir, both accused of sexual violence in their respective discipline.
Today, the Minister of Sports, Roxana Maracineanu, has announced the number of people implicated. As of now, there are 177 predators, from 40 different federations. Cases mainly affected minors at the time of the acts (98%), among the victims, 78% being females.
Currently, almost 90 legal proceedings are underway, with 16 people being incarcerated according to the Minister. Those high numbers witness the severity of sexual assault in the Sports industry, whether in France or in the US, with Lary Nassar for example, the phenomenon is widespread.
Four months ago, a national convention to prevent sexual violence in the sports industry has been launched. This issue must be addressed, more seriously at the international level, and preventive measures have to be put into place to protect these young athletes before their childhood is being robbed from them like it already happened to many young athletes.