Resignations at sailing federation after Olympic champion’s sexual assault allegations


Two members of the board of Greece's sailing frederation have resigned since athlete Sofia Bekatorou, an Olympic Gold medalist, revealed she had been sexually assaulted by a board member in 1998.

The resignations do not include the alleged perpetrator, Aristidis Adamopoulos, then and now a federation Vice-President. Adamopoulos, in a short statement, said he would abstain from his duties as federation representative to the Hellenic Olympic Committee “until the case is resolved.” The federation had asked for his resignation as vice-president, a position he's been holding since 1997.

Since Bekatorou came forward to recount her experience, an increasing number of athletes, from different sports, have issued statements of support. Some, like Niki Bakogianni, a silver medalist in the high jump at the Atlanta Olympics, have talked of their own experiences of sexual harassment at the hands of officials of their sports federation.

The two sailing federation officils who resigned did so in protest at the federation's original response, which called Bekatorou's sexual assault an “unfortunate event” and appeared for blame her for taking so long to reveal it.

Hellenic Olympic Committee President Spyros Kapralos and General Secretary Manolis Kolymbadis have referred the case to an ethics commission.