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French skating boss under pressure over sex abuse revelations

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Paris (AFP)

The furore over sexual abuse in French figure skating deepened on Monday when the president of the French ice sports federation admitted to "mistakes" after Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu told him to quit.

Last week former coach and senior federation (FFSG) official Gilles Beyer responded to accusations in a book by Sarah Abitbol and acknowledged an "inappropriate" and "intimate" relationship with the skater starting when she was 15.

Maracineanu, a former swimmer, met long-time FFSG president Didier Gailhaguet on Monday and then said he must carry a share of the responsibility.

"The weight of facts and their continuation over time illustrate that a general dysfunction exists within the federation," she said. "The president of the French Ice Sports Federation, Didier Gailhaguet, cannot absolve himself of his moral and personal responsibility, so I have asked him to assume all his responsibilities and resign."

She also said she would refer the matter to the public prosecutor "so that a criminal investigation can be conducted."

After the meeting Gailhaguet made a limited apology, saying: "I made mistakes, not errors."

Maracineanu demanded to know why Beyer, already suspected of inappropriate behaviour, was not dismissed much earlier.

Gailhaguet complained that Maracineanu "didn't listen to me and, above all, she didn't hear me."

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