Sexual violence in skating: “I raised the alarm and they make me pay for it”, says Didier Lucine

    “She told me that there was rubbish going on in the dorm during the internships. The scene takes place in Annecy in 1999. Bronze medalist at the World Figure Skating Championships in Lausanne in 1997, Vanessa Gusmeroli turns to her trainer at the time, Didier Lucine. And told him of his doubts about the actions, during rallies, of another French coach, Gilles Beyer, today accused of rape by two former athletes, Sarah Abitbol and Hélène Godard.

    ” He (Beyer) could be very difficult to manage, Gusmeroli recalls today. He put a hand on the buttocks as sympathetic encouragement in the galas, called us my darlings and interfered in the life of skaters. He was like jealous when we had a boyfriend. I was not a direct victim of him, but I saw girls with whom he was even heavier. “

    “Because of this story, my students picked up”

    Even without direct testimony of rape or sexual touching, the story challenges his coach. In February 2000, Didier Lucine decided to write to the French Federation of Ice Sports (FFSG), already headed at the time by Didier Gailhaguet, to discuss the supposed behavior of Gilles Beyer. A letter also sent to other personalities in the community to ensure that the case would not be buried. The missive helps launch an investigation by the Sports Ministry against Beyer. Who is removed from his duties as technical advisor on March 31, 2001.

    “But there, I saw him come back little by little to the edge of the ice rinks thanks to Didier Gailhaguet. I couldn’t do much more than the letter that led the department to investigate. I launched the alert. They have been charging me for twenty years. “

    Twenty years after the facts, Didier Lucine accuses the one who is still the president of the FFSG, Gilles Beyer and his wife Katia Krier (Editor’s note: today Deputy National Technical Director) to have “rotten the lives of many of its athletes” for almost fifteen years. “Because of this story, my students picked up. They hurt their careers to get revenge, “he slips.

    “Let the Minister take responsibility”

    The Annecy-based coach cites a name: that of Samuel Contesti. Ninth in the European Championships in 2005, he no longer skated for France in a major competition afterwards. In 2007, he took Italian sports nationality. And offered the Transalpines a continental silver medal the following year. When contacted, the skater said “never heard of this version. I find it inappropriate to get involved in rape cases ”.

    “Some of my students were told to leave Annecy if they wanted to break through. Others never went to the France team, without really understanding why. Didier Gailhaguet even asked the mayor of Annecy to fire me, ”says Didier Lucine. Contacted, Gilles Beyer did not respond to our request. No more than Katia Krier and Didier Gailhaguet.

    The latter is summoned Monday to the Ministry of Sports to explain himself after the accusations of several athletes. “Let the minister take responsibility now,” says Lucine. She has all the cards in hand. “

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