It has the image of a feminist sport. A discipline where everyone is called by its nickname. Where a small community has been dating for years. But roller derby, a contact sport where teams of skaters have to double up on a track, is not immune to the explosion of revelations about sexual violence in sport. Since the beginning of the month, several amateur athletes, mostly women, have shared their suffering on social networks. Where they depict a much more sordid reality.
According to our information, three practitioners of the discipline have filed complaints in recent days. Two in Paris against the same man, also practicing roller derby, for sexual exhibition. And a third, on February 25 in Lyon (Rhône), for rape committed by another player. To these complaints, we must add a fourth, filed a year ago in Toulouse (Haute-Garonne), for sexual assault. According to our information, the investigation has since been transferred to the Narbonne public prosecutor's office (Aude).
It is in this city of Aude that Louise relates that she was attacked the first time, in November 2017. By a man, whom she thought was a friend, also a trainer in her club. "I had known him for eight years," breathes the young woman, now 32 years old. That day, she organized an evening at her place. She disappears for a few seconds in her bedroom, leaving all her guests in the living room. All except one who follows her discreetly in this room.
"I saw him come back to my training"
"Surprisingly, he then presented his erect penis to me," she describes. He took my hand to put it on and slipped his into my panties while kissing me. Flabbergasted, Louise takes a few seconds to push him away. She goes back to the living room where her aggressor's girlfriend and her husband are. The latter, to whom she immediately tells the story, wants to intervene. She refuses.
By messages, his trainer apologizes. "But three months later, he tried to kiss me in the referees' locker room," she recalls. A third time, Louise fled when he saw him enter a room where she was alone. Finally, the skater decides to bring the case to justice. "I could still see him coming back to my training," she says. He was not aware of his actions, he did not want to heal. According to a source at his former club, the man was suspended for these acts. The French Federation of Roller Skating and Skateboarding (FFRS) claims that it is no longer one of its licensees. But on February 20, Louise still wanted to tell what she suffered on Facebook.
The day before, Elise Fruchart also spread herself on the social network. "Gara", as it is called in the world of roller derby, recounted in detail an episode from October 2013 in a sports hall in Orcet, near Clermont-Ferrand (Puy-de-Dôme). Member of the staff of the national men's team, she is one of the two women of the course. But due to lack of space in the locker room, he was assigned an end of the corridor, where the players were forbidden to go, to change. “After a session, I walk past the male changing rooms, open while the players take a shower. One of them, Nicolas Goury, offers to join them. I tell her to be quiet, and I'm going to change. "
Shortly after, a shadow blocked the light as she undressed. "It's Nicolas Goury, naked, who laughs and says to me: Come on, come and join us . There, I am literally back to the wall. I no longer feel safe, I no longer know what to do. After several long seconds, I call for help the coach who came to tell him to leave me alone. I didn't want to change anymore. I spent the evening with my leggings under my jeans. "
"He had lots of friends at the federation"
If the young woman of 34 years wanted to file a complaint for sexual exhibition, the facts are time-barred. "I regret not having done it before, plague Elise Fruchart. At the time, I hadn't called the federation either. He had lots of friends there ... Many people did not want to position themselves when we knew his reputation. But not to position yourself is to validate your behavior. I don't want to find this normal anymore. "
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At the end of 2018, Nicolas Goury was elected to represent his discipline on the board of directors of the FFRS. Several people, including Elise, are indignant in public. He resigned, but the Federation "condemns comments on social networks" "and reserves the right to take legal action". The day after Elise Fruchart's announcement, the Toulouse club suspended Goury, founder who became vice-president. The federation has also initiated disciplinary proceedings. The person who is the subject of two complaints of sexual exhibition did not respond to our requests.
⚠️ Communiqué from the board of directors of Roller Derby Toulouse ⚠️ Yesterday, the entire board of directors of ...Gepostet von Roller Derby Toulouse am Donnerstag, 20. Februar 2020
On February 22, the head of the roller derby commission, Amandine Richaud-Crambes, launched a call for witnesses on Twitter to identify other victims of sexual violence in her sport. In parallel, she announced her intention to attack her own federation for "failure to assist a person at risk", "criminal association" and "concealment of evidence".
The officer summoned to the Minister
“The federation did not wait for the subject of sexual violence to be at the heart of the news before taking it in hand. We are convinced that it is through prevention that we will limit cases of sexual abuse, ”replied Nicolas Belloir, president of the FFRS. The latter claims to have worked for a year with the Colosse association with clay feet of the former rugby player, Sébastien Boueilh.
"Our priority is to take into account the victims and protect our licensees. This is why we treat the facts which have come back to us with the utmost seriousness, and take the necessary measures ”, continues the manager. This was convened by Minister of Sports Roxana Maracineanu.
“The federation did not learn the lessons of the Arnaud Mercier case ( Editor's note: France's artistic rollerblading teams sentenced in 2018 to 13 years in prison for sexual assault and rape of minors under 15 years of age ), s annoyed Amandine Richaud-Crambes. We have to end these practices. And quick. "