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Polish tennis president resigns, accused of sexual harassment

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Warsaw (AFP) – The president of the Polish Tennis Federation (PZT) resigned from his post on Thursday due to accusations of sexual harassment and violent acts, according to a statement from this organization, which also announced the creation of an investigation commission.

“During a meeting of the board of directors of the Polish Tennis Federation held on November 24, 2022, Mirosław Skrzypczynski submitted his resignation (…) with immediate effect,” the PZT said in a statement.

“Miroslaw Skrzypczynski’s resignation was unanimously accepted,” the organization added.

On Monday, the PZT president was accused by a Polish MP, Katarzyna Kotula, of sexual harassment in the early 1990s, when she was between 13 and 14 years old.

According to this woman, other players were also victims of similar behavior by Skrzypczynski, whom the deputy described as a “sexual predator.”

Skrzypczynski was his coach, at a club in northwestern Poland.

Kotula’s statements came after other accusations recently published in the press, under the protection of anonymity.

The president, in office since 2017, rejected those accusations.

On Tuesday, the Polish Iga Swiatek, who dominates the world tennis hierarchy, took the floor assessing that “the leading institutions should determine what happened”, hoping “that they take care of it”.

“As the current number one in women’s tennis, I cannot remain silent,” he said in a long series of tweets and also inviting victims of harassment and violence to seek professional help, publishing the numbers of psychological support telephone platforms.

For her part, Iga Swiatek specified that she had not been a victim of this type of behavior.

On Thursday, the Polish Tennis Federation announced that it would create an external independent commission made up of three women to investigate “into all the circumstances surrounding the cases linked to Miroslaw Skrzypczynski, which have generated recent press articles, interviews and reports.”

The commission, which must be created by the end of November, must deliver its report within six months.

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