Greek Gymnasts Allege Decades Of Abuse By Coaches
Zeeshan Mehtab 15 days ago Wed 07th April 2021 | 06:36 PM
Nearly two dozen Greek gymnasts alleged they suffered decades of abuse and neglect "bordering on torture" at the hands of their coaches, in a letter published on Wednesday
Athens, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 7th Apr, 2021 ) :Nearly two dozen Greek gymnasts alleged they suffered decades of abuse and neglect "bordering on torture" at the hands of their coaches, in a letter published on Wednesday.
It alleged "harsh and abusive" practices dating back to 1985 included forced fasting, psychological and physical punishment and sexual harassment.
The Names of the signatories were withheld in the EfSyn report.
"For the first time, a cry of protest by a large number of gymnastics athletes about psychological and physical abuse is expressed en masse," the athletes' lawyer Alexandros Adamidis told the newspaper.
"We stand by the athletes," he told Kathimerini daily.
"We will move with full confidentiality and evaluate the weight of each allegation," he said.
His predecessor Thanassis Vassiliadis, who headed the federation for the past 14 years, on Wednesday said the athletes should "name the culprits...so they can be removed from the sport." The athletes' letter said coaches would slap, kick, shove and throw objects at them during training, even dragging some girls by the hair and grabbing them by the crotch.
On occasion, coaches would remove protective mats, causing injuries. Some of the athletes were forced to train while injured, the letter says.
Disciplinary measures allegedly included forcing athletes to train in extreme temperatures and denying them toilet breaks.
Prominent Greek gymnasts have previously accused the federation of failing to ensure proper training facilities.
After Greece's main gymnastics indoor hall at Agios Kosmas, Athens flooded last June, Olympic champion Lefteris Petrounias said the country's squad was forced to train at a disadvantage to other nations.
Earlier this week, after an asymmetric bars frame collapsed during training at the Agios Kosmas facility, Petrounias' coach Dimitris Raftis told Kathimerini daily that no federation official had inspected the hall's gymnastics equipment in years.
"We have been saying this for years...but they did not take us seriously because they know how much we love (the sport)," Raftis told the daily.
- 'Medieval' management - He also noted that rodent droppings had been found in the gymnastics foam pit, calling the previous management "medieval".
Greece in recent months has been rocked by a wave of allegations of sexual abuse in the fields of arts, sport and education.
The man she accused, who was asked to resign his position in the Greek sailing federation, has denied any wrongdoing.
Another prominent case involves Dimitris Lignadis, the former artistic director of Greece's national theatre, who has been accused of raping minors.
Lignadis, who was placed in pre-trial detention in February, denies the charges.