Polish tennis chief resigns amid sexual abuse claims
The president of the Polish Tennis Association (PZT), Miroslaw Skrzypczynski, has left his post after claims emerged that he had sexually assaulted a player when working as a coach. Current women’s world number one Iga Swiatek has been among those to speak up in light of the allegations.
“Mr. Miroslaw Skrzypczynski submitted a statement of resignation from the position of the President of the Management Board of the Polish Tennis Association with immediate effect. [His] resignation was unanimously accepted,” read a statement from the PZT on Thursday.
Earlier this week, news outlet Onet published an interview with Polish politician Katarzyna Kotula, in which she accused Skrzypczynski of sexually assaulting her when he was her coach in the early 1990s. The claims followed more accusations against Skrzypczynski in an article by Onet which alleged that he had used physical and psychological violence against his family and other players he coached.
The former tennis chief vehemently denies the claims and has vowed to clear his name, Reuters reported.
The PZT said in its statement on Thursday that it would establish a three-woman commission, “whose task will be to examine all circumstances regarding matters related to [Skrzypczynski] which were the subject of recent press articles, interviews and media reports.”
“At the same time, we would like to inform you that the Management Board of the Polish Tennis Association has declared deep concern about recent media reports from the very beginning,” it added.
Polish women’s world number one Swiatek, 21, weighed in on the issue this week, writing on social media that “when it comes to physical violence or emotional abuse, the most important issue is think and being sensitive about victims.”
“And when we speak up about something wrong happening, we need to think about them first and most of all,” said the three-time Grand Slam champion.
Elsewhere, Polish men’s tennis star Hubert Hurkacz tweeted that he supports “all women and all victims of abuse,” as he referenced the allegations against Skrzypczynski.