Sports minister suspends funding to sailing federation amid abuse probe

Sports minister suspends funding to sailing federation amid abuse probe

Deputy Minister of Sports Lefteris Avgenakis announced on Tuesday 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 opened up about the sexual assault she suffered by a senior federation official.

Bekatorou, who won a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics, told the Greek edition of Marie Claire last month and then at an online event that she had suffered the abuse in 1998 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,” he said. 

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