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31 Jan, 2020 18:41

French coach accused of rape admits ‘intimate relationship’ with former skater Sarah Abitbol

French coach accused of rape admits ‘intimate relationship’ with former skater Sarah Abitbol

French figure skating coach Gilles Beyer, who was accused of sexual assault, has admitted to having an ‘intimate relationship’ with Sarah Abitbol, who was underage at the time.

On Thursday, renowned athlete and ten-time French pairs skating champion Abitbol accused Beyer of systematic sexual assault and rape between 1990 and 1992, when she was between the ages of 15 and 17.

READ MORE: French champion figure skater accused of sexually abusing 13yo US female athlete

He started doing horrible things… sexual abuse, and I was raped when I was 15. It was the first time that a man touched me,” the seven-time European medalist said.

The 62-year-old coach admitted to having sex with the skater, whom he had trained, though he added that his memory of events differs from the version presented by Abitbol.

Though my memories of exact circumstances differ from hers, I am aware that, given my duties and her age at the time, these relationships were in any event inappropriate,” Beyer said in response to the accusations brought against him.

Right after the shocking admission Beyer, who was the general manager of the Parisian club Les Français Volants, was dismissed from his position. It remains unknown whether he will face legal action in the wake of the sexual scandal.

At the end of 2019, an independent investigation initiated by local journalists uncovered multiple sexual crimes within French sport.

Also on rt.com ‘It was the first time that a man touched me’: French 10-time skating champ Sarah Abitbol claims she was raped by former coach

According to the investigation, more than 276 athletes from 28 different sports – mostly kids under 15 years of age – were victims of sexual abuse.

The French Sports Ministry plans to organize a conference on February 20 to address the issue.