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"We must give the strength to the victims to speak in time": Roxana Maracineanu reacts to the death of Gilles Beyer


The former Minister of Sports had led the fight against sexual violence, following the shock testimony of Sarah Abitbol. Roxana Maracin

Gilles Beyer will never be judged.

The former manager of the French figure skating team died on Thursday at the age of 66, following a long illness.

It was through him that the scandal of sexual violence in sport gained momentum 3 years ago.

At the time, skater Sarah Abitbol released a chilling book, "Un si long silence", in which she recounts the rapes and sexual assaults suffered when she was 15 and 16 by the man who was then her coach.

" I am in shock.

He leaves before being judged, I would have liked there to be a trial, ”explained Sarah Abitbol to L’Obs.

The former Minister of Sports Roxana Maracineanu, who had supported the skater and put pressure on the president of the French ice sports federation and close to Gilles Beyer, Didier Gailhaguet, to leave his post, gave us his impressions.

What does the death of Gilles Beyer mean to you?


It is thanks to Sarah and the facts that she denounced in her book on this gentleman that the release of the word of the sportsmen was done more easily.

I have a thought especially for these young girls and boys who at one time had the courage to break the silence, this omerta in the world of sport.

Gilles Beyer's death means there will be no trial...

I think of Sarah.

I saw him two weeks ago at the ministry, at his National Order of Merit ceremony.

She was better.

She was waiting for this trial.

Even if for her the facts were prescribed, it was important for her that this gentleman be judged.

He still had six complaints against him.

For all the victims, this trial was important.

This is what they dread the most but also what they expect the most, to ask this question of why, to express in adult words what they were unable to express as children.

This confrontation between victims and aggressors is part of their process of reconstruction and reparation.

What should be done to help the victims?

We must better protect them, help them in their reconstruction.

Put in place solutions so that athletes have confidence in institutions, sports, police, judicial.

You have to give enough strength to the other victims so that they speak in time.

We see today how important it is.

What did you put in place at the time after this affair?

I tried to be worthy of the courage of the victims, to clean up this sport in particular, in which many people, up to the top of the federation, knew, or had doubts.

We obtained in the law of March 2022 that the precautionary measures of prohibition to practice can last until the trial and not six months maximum.

We have also funded around twenty associations to help the victims psychologically, to support them during this long time between the complaint and the trial.

This is still not enough, it takes a lot of resources: when I left the ministry, there were 650 administrative inquiries in progress, in around fifty federations, half of which had given rise to complaints.

Source: leparis

All sports articles on 2023-01-21

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