Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Police investigating two more male sports coaches after complaints by five women

Police are investigating two more male sports coaches for sexual harassment following complaints by five women, it emerged on Wednesday.

Four different track athletes reported their coaches for sexual harassment. They were called to give a police statement on Monday, media reported.

Another woman, who had filed an official sexual harassment complaint about her basketball coach in 2016 presented new evidence last month and the suspect was also called to the police station for a statement.

According to police, the case was referred to the court which deemed there was not enough evidence to prove the crime was committed.

Meanwhile, investigations continue regarding the former member of the Olympic committee who was accused of sexual abuse by local sports shooter Andri Eleftheriou. The man in question, who has a number of other sexual harassment reports against him and was retired early, also gave his police statement on Monday in the presence of his lawyer.

According to the police, the suspect denied any accusations made by Eleftheriou and made his own allegations which will be investigated.

The three case files are expected to be submitted to the legal service in the coming days.

In a recent House human rights committee, the Director of the Office Handling Domestic Violence, criminologist Kyriaki Labrianidou said the number of sexual harassment cases in the sports industry is less than ten but refused to provide a specific number.

Local female athletes started speaking up about the taboo topic after the first public complaint made by Eleftheriou. More people from different backgrounds have also gained the confidence to talk seeing a national #metoo movement which started in Greece.

Amidst the complaints, Cyprus sports organisation said it will issue a guide for the prevention of sexual harassment in the sports industry, a project announced in 2014.

Published in January, under the title ‘guide for the implementation of protection measures and prosperity of all of the participants in sports with an emphasis on young people’ the 24-page booklet dedicates a subcategory to explain what constitutes sexual harassment and or abuse and why it happens in sports.

In his statements to the media, the president of the organisation Andreas Michailides said “in no case are we trying to cover up any complaint that comes to us”.

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