Olympic sailing champion and gold medalist Sofia Bekatorou accuses official of physical abuse

Monday, 18 January 2021 - 3:07

Olympic sailing champion Sofia Bekatorou accused a sporting official of sexually assaulting her in 1998 during preparations for the Sydney Games.

One of Greece's best-known female athletes, Bekatorou won a sailing gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics and then bronze four years later at the Beijing Games.

Bekatorou said the alleged assault took place in 1998 during preparations for the Sydney Olympics, that were held two years later.

The athlete was 21 at the time. Bekatorou said she had made it clear that the act was not consensual, adding that she was left feeling “humiliated.

Greek Olympic gold medalist Sofia Bekatorou's very public detailing of her alleged sexual assault in 1998 by a high-ranking Hellenic Sailing Federation (HSF) official has sparked an outcry in the Mediterranean country over the way her revelations were initially dealt with.

Bekatorou did not name the person she is accusing. 

”The act has been condemned by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis personally, party leaders, and ministers, among others, who have expressed their strong support of the athlete.

“Sofia bravely broke the chain of fear and silence, showing the way so that the stigma of guilt moves from the victim to the perpetrator,” Mitsotakis said in a post on his Facebook page, adding that he spoke to 43-year-old Bekatorou on the phone on Saturday.

“It is a scourge that undermines the foundations of our culture. So let us all take the first step that Sofia took: We speak, we report, we reveal.”

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