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Pechalat to stand for presidency of scandal-hit French skating federation

France's Nathalie Pechalat (C) speaks during an interview after a practice session ahead of her ice dance free dance competition at the world figure skating championships in Saitama, on March 29, 2014.
France's Nathalie Pechalat (C) speaks during an interview after a practice session ahead of her ice dance free dance competition at the world figure skating championships in Saitama, on March 29, 2014. © KAZUHIRO NOGI, AFP

Twice former European champion Nathalie Pechalat on Wednesday confirmed her candidacy for the presidency of the crisis-hit French skating federation, which finds itself at the centre of an underage sex abuse scandal.

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Didier Gailhuget stepped down as president of the federation on the weekend after pressure from France’s sports minister, Roxana Maracineanu.

His resignation followed accusations by former world championship medallist Sarah Abitbol that her coach Gilles Beyer sexually assaulted her for two years starting from the age of 15.

Pechalat, the European champion in 2011 and 2012 who retired in 2014, confirmed to AFP she would stand in the federation elections on March 14.

Pechalat is a member of an association founded to prevent sexual violence in sport, but ironically is also a registered member of the same Paris club where Beyer coached.

(AFP)
 

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