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French skating chiefs to take no action against Cipres over teen sex abuse claims

Morgan Cipres won a bronze medal at the 2018 world championships
Morgan Cipres won a bronze medal at the 2018 world championships Thomas SAMSON AFP/File
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Paris (AFP)

The French ice skating federation (FFSG) will not pursue action against figure skater Morgan Cipres, who is alleged to have sexually abused a 13-year-old girl, AFP learned on Wednesday.

In Wednesday's ruling, seen by AFP, the FFSG's disciplinary committee said that it was not aware of any "complaint from the alleged victim nor any element that could lead to criminal proceedings".

The committee added that there was "no objective element (photographs, messages, letters) that could establish proof of any offence".

Late last month police in Florida opened an investigation into Cipres, 29, telling newspaper USA Today that they had received new evidence regarding allegations he sent lewd photographs to the 13-year-old in December 2017.

Last year it emerged that the United States Center for SafeSport was investigating claims Cipres sent two photos of his penis to the girl, who skated at the same Florida rink as the Frenchman.

An attorney for Cipres' alleged victim told USA Today that the teenager was "fully cooperating with the investigation."

The paper previously claimed that Cipres' coaches -- former Olympians John Zimmerman and Silvia Fontana -- had warned the girl's family not to report the incident to authorities at the time.

It also reported that the girl and her parents were urged by Zimmerman and Fontana not to raise the matter with police or the US Center for SafeSport so as to avoid disrupting Cipres and partner Vanessa James' preparations for the 2018 Olympics.

"To date, Morgan Cipres has never been summoned by the police or the courts in the United States, or by Safe Sport," Cipres' lawyer Jean-Jacques Bertrand told AFP.

Contacted by AFP, Safe Sport said it did not want to comment on "an individual case".

Cipres is a two-time Olympian and pairs bronze medallist at the 2018 World Championship with James.

He and James have been skating partners since 2010, and are planning to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing.

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