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Sports Minister suspends funding to Greek Sailing Federation amid probes

Deputy Minister of Sports Lefteris Avgenakis announced on Tuesday that he was suspending all funding to the Greek Sailing Federation and ordering an audit of its board members’ assets, as part of an investigation into allegations of sexual assault, mismanagement and corruption by senior officials.

The suspension will last until the completion of the first stage of the probe opened by judicial and sport ministry authorities, he said.

The investigation came after Olympic sailing champion Sofia Bekatorou openly spoke about the sexual assault she suffered by a senior federation official when she was 21.

Another top athlete, windsurfing world champion and a Olympic gold medalist Nikos Kaklamanakis, has accused the federation of corruption and mismanagement.

Avgenakis also ordered the head of the country’s anti-money laundering authority, Anna Zairi, to conduct an audit into the asset source declarations (called “pothen esches”) of the federation’s board members.

“The full consolidation of transparency, integrity and accountability in the field of sports is a key government priority and commitment,” Avgenakis said. However, he did not say anything about the revelations of sexual harassment by four more athletes by other sports officials.

Meanwhile, resignations from the board of the HSF have reached 3.

Sofia Bekatorou‘s revelations opened the can of worms about a taboo issue in a conservative society. She has given courage to other women to speak out about being victims of sexual abuse and harassment not only in sports world but also to other sectors of public life.

Former students denounced their sexual harassment by two – now retired – professors at the University of Thessaloniki. According to state broadcaster ERT denouncements so far have exceeded 100.

A spokeswoman at KINAL openly spoke about being sexually harassed by a high-ranking party official in an elevator 20 years ago.

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