Gymnastics: an investigation opened after testimonies of abuse in the French team

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Six former tricolor gymnasts recounted, this Sunday, May 14, 2023, in a Stage 2 investigation, physical and psychological violence. (©sports photos / Adobe Stock)

Speech is also freed in the gymnastic French. “We were only performance objects, we didn’t give a damn about our health” (…) “when are you going to stop gaining weight? ” (…) ” Fat cow “…

Former gymnasts from the France team denounced this Sunday, May 14, 2023 as part of a report by the Stade 2 program on France 3, facts of physical and psychological abuse of which they say they have been victims.

“The report is made, we will open an investigation”

While defending the colors of Les Bleues, these six former athletes recounted the suffering they endured, in training and in competition.

Former gymnast now 26 years old, Valentine Sabatou explained, facing the camera, having been forced at the age of 16 to participate in a demonstration despite a broken ankle, while the coach was “aware” of this injury. .

Marine Petit, 15 at the time, said she was slapped by the senior official after taking part in a party around silver medalist Thomas Bouhail during the Beijing Games in 2008.

All the young girls who testify have left the France team and remain marked by what they have suffered.

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Also invited to the set, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, the Minister of Sports, announced after the broadcast of these revelations that an investigation would be opened.

The report is made, we will open an investigation tomorrow morning (Monday May 15) with the teams of the Ministry of Sports and I will summon the president of the French Gymnasium Federation and his DTN, national technical director, to understand what it is going (…) to accentuate the action plans and to see with these six young women how to help them.

Amelie Oudea-CasteraMinister of Sports

“We are in the action, that’s what’s important, because it’s not possible to let trainers practice who mix everything: the requirement with violence, discipline with mistreatment, it’s not fair not eligible,” the minister said.

“We must avoid making generalizations, because there are also a lot of coaches and educators who do their job very well in the gym”, however added the former tennis player, insisting on the fact that “c There is zero tolerance for this type of violence. »

“I take full measure of the testimonies”

In a press release published this Sunday evening, the president of the French gymnastics federation, James Blateau, also reacted to the report. “I take the full measure of the testimonies and from now on, I give my full support to the victims,” ​​he wrote.

As a result, I called an exceptional meeting of the federation’s executive board on Monday to discuss the measures to be taken.

James BlateauPresident of the French Gymnastics Federation

“I will have the opportunity to speak after our meeting with the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, to specify the measures taken by the federation to stop all forms of violence”, he concludes, thus affirming that these testimonials will not go unanswered.

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