After the scandal that rocked the United States gymnastics federation, now something similar is happening in Greece. 22 gymnasts already removed from the competition asked Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the head of State, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, to intervene in order to end situations of physical, psychological and sexual violence in the country’s federation.
In a letter, which has since been published by a Greek newspaper, the former athletes say they have been victims of beatings, humiliation, malnutrition and even sexual abuse. They say that during the 1980s, when some of them were just 5 years old, they were subjected to training that resembled torture. They say that behind an athlete who celebrates winning a medal “most of the time a battered child hides”.In training they were beaten, “while crying non-stop”, with other minors often being forced to punish their teammates.
They speak of starving children, because of the restricted diet, which was applied without medical supervision, and who ended up eating toothpaste or even the garbage in the hotels where they were installed when they were in competition.
There are also reports of sexual abuse. They forced the girls to do the splitting by placing the vagina on top of the coach’s hand, supposedly to train flexibility, pulling hard on the vulva. Abuses took place in and out of training and children were forced to remain silent.
The former athletes who signed the letter sent to the governors ask for protection for children who practice the sport and for those responsible for the abuse to be punished.
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