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Cyprus

Police considering next move in shooter’s sexual abuse case (Updated)

Andri Eleftheriou

The man who allegedly sexually abused a sports shooter years ago was a member of the Olympic Committee and was involved in other similar cases, a senior sports official said on Thursday.

Giovannis Savvides, chairman of the shooting federation, claimed that the man in question had also been reported in 2011 and 2014 before being appointed headteacher at a school where there was another report.

After that, the man was retired early, Savvides told Sigma television.

“It’s the same person as in Andri’s case,” he said.

Sports shooter Andri Eleftheriou filed an official statement to police on Wednesday after a meeting she had with Justice Minister Emily Yiolitis.

“It is an unprecedented case and we are glad Andri found the courage to report it,” Savvides said.

He said he hoped other women would now come forward.

Eleftheriou, who publicly talked about her experience on television back in 2018 and again last December, received more widespread attention after Greek Olympic gold medalist Sophia Bekatorou recently spoke up about her rape by a high-ranking Hellenic Sailing Federation (HSF) official back in 1998.

The Cypriot athlete had said that she had been harassed at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and also in Peking in 2008 by the same man, who held a “position of authority.”

Her story failed to receive any attention until Bekatorou came forward.

Police investigators were considering their next steps on Thursday in Eleftheriou’s case.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, investigators will review the statement alleging sexual abuse by a sports official a few years ago and decide how to proceed.

The agency said the case will be taken over by specially trained staff who will be taking statements from officials in the sports organisation and the shooting federation.

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