Deputy Minister for Sports Lefteris Avgenakis submitted to the public prosecutor’s officer the complaints filed by 26 athletes of the Greek Gymnastics Federation who fell victims of sexual harassment. A clever move before the crimes would be written off due to time statute, if only the names of the victims were not made public!
The names of 25 female and one male athlete were given together with the official press release by the Sports ministry and were reproduced by several websites in the last 24 hours.
The cases refer to athletes who were sexually and physically harassed or abused by their coaches and thus when the victims were minors.
The crimes took place for the late 1980 until early 2000.
According to some angry complains on social media, when the athletes filed the complaints to Sports Ministry that was conducting an investigation, they had categorically refused to have their names published. Now some are considering to file a lawsuit against the ministry for privacy violation.
What is interesting in the whole issue is that some of the 30 in total coaches accused of harassment still work in schools and despite the complaints filed in October 2021, when the Ministry conducted the investigation.
According to the Sports Ministry press release:
Two of the abusing coaches have active contracts with sports clubs. One of the coaches is being accused by eight athletes and the other by two.
Six coaches accused by 11 female athletes and one male athlete, are included in the ministerial decision assigning the duties of Federal Coaches / Technical Advisers in Physical Education branches for the school year 2021-2022.
Many of the accused still work in Higher Education (TEFAA), some have passed away or retired or are no longer employed as coaches, but are active in other fields related to instrumental and rhythmic gymnastics.
Equally interesting is also that while the Sports ministry initiated the #MeToo movement in Greece a year ago and had an Olympia winner/sailor go public to denounced that she was sexually abused by a high-ranking member of the Sailing Federation, the denouncement had no consequences for the predator.
PS If as a ministry exposes the victims and not the perpetrators in any way, then a ministry is a big failure just pretending to want to change malpractices when the real reason is suspected to serve petty interests and the #MeToo is just a tool of ruthless politics.
For obvious reasons, there is no link to websites that published the victims’ names.
Worth noting that Greek TV channels did not report about the privacy violation but had just athletes saying that they welcome the sports ministry move to send the case to prosecutor.
Here we should recall the case of a PASOK minister a few years ago who made public the names of a dozen prostitutes as well as the names of their parents and their addresses.