The former Brazilian coach was sentenced at first instance on Monday by a court in the city of Sao Bernardo do Campo, near Sao Paulo, according to the Globo Esporte site, which had access to the procedure, protected by judicial secrecy.
Fernando de Carvalho Lopes, who should appeal because he considers himself innocent, was convicted of assaulting four athletes, including a minor aged 13 at the time, according to the media, which did not specify the age of other gymnasts.
Other accusations weigh against the former coach: four years ago, around forty athletes had claimed to the Globo TV channel that they had been victims of moral, physical or sexual abuse on his part.
Some of them took part in the legal proceedings as witnesses to the events that allegedly took place between 1999 and 2016, when Fernando de Carvalho Lopes was the head of the MESC club in Sao Bernardo do Campo.
The former coach took care of young gymnasts for twenty years.
In 2016, he was removed from the staff of the national team, a month before the Rio Olympics, after a complaint from the parents of a young gymnast.
In April 2019, the Superior Court of Sports Justice (STJD) banned him for life from any activity related to his sport.
The world of gymnastics has already been splashed by the case of Larry Nassar, a former American doctor sentenced in early 2018 to several heavy prison sentences for having assaulted at least 265 victims, most of them minors, under the guise of medical treatment.
In Britain, Greece, Australia and New Zealand, athletes have also reported abuse by coaches.