He is one of the legends of European rugby, particularly known in France where he wore the Stade Toulousain jersey for three years. The former captain of the Wales rugby team, Gareth Thomas, is the subject of a complaint to British justice from an ex-partner who accuses him of having transmitted HIV to him by hiding his seropositivity.
According to the court file, the plaintiff, Ian Baum, 59, believes that Thomas “did not take the necessary precautions” to avoid contamination. “He hid the fact that he had HIV and passed it on to me,” he said in an interview with The Times.
According to court documents, Baum says he found out about Thomas’s HIV status by reading up on the internet about pills the former player was taking that presented them as vitamins when they were actually a treatment for HIV.
Figure of homosexuality in sport
The complainant, who says he was HIV-negative when he started dating Thomas in 2013, also says Thomas was “coercive and overbearing” to keep his HIV status from coming out publicly. The former three-quarter revealed he had HIV in 2019.
Gareth Thomas, 48, 100 appearances with Wales, was the first rugby player in history to come out as gay in 2009. A few days after coming out, Gareth Thomas was playing against his former club Stade Toulousain, where he had received a real standing ovation from the 30,000 Toulouse supporters present.
Since retiring from the field, he has become an activist for gay rights. In his autobiography, he explained that it was “more difficult to dump Jonah Lomu than to confess to being gay”. He had become a figure of homosexuality in professional sport.
In November 2018, he was the victim of a homophobic attack. The former Wales rugby player recounted his trauma in a video on Twitter, his face scarred by the blows.