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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Sofia Bekatorou: Steps by her lawyers – “Activate the authorities”

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Sofia Bekatorou's lawyers announced in an announcement that they have prepared a series of steps to activate the competent authorities in the case.

Sofia Bekatorou was represented by lawyers Nikos Konstantopoulos, Elli Rousou and Zoe Konstantopoulou.

In a statement, they inform that from tomorrow they will proceed “with a series of steps to the competent authorities, with the aim of their immediate activation in the case, on the side of Sofia and every victim of the behaviors and powers she complained about”.

Full announcement:

We undertook with a sense of responsibility the representation of our Olympian Sofia Bekatorou in the steps that will follow her courageous, public complaint about the rape she suffered as a young athlete by a sports player.

The case of Sophia illuminates an invisible world, known to many and hidden, which operates in the opposite of the sports spirit, exploits and destroys young people and athletes, from a position of power and authority. A world expressed in the cynical announcement of the Federation involved.

Wisdom's decision to speak in public sets a pattern and example for every person who has been abused in any form while fighting for his dream and for his life, in sports and elsewhere. And as such a model, we will support it with all our might.

From tomorrow, we will take a series of steps to the competent authorities, with the aim of their immediate activation in the case, on the side of Sophia and every victim of the behaviors and powers she complained about.

The revelation that opened Aeolus' bag and caused an “earthquake” and resignations

Gold medalist Sofia Bekatorou, in a recent interview, revealed that when she was 21 years old, she had been sexually abused by a member of the Sailing Federation, whose name and status became known in the second year.

The man he nominated is Aristides Adamopoulos, vice president of EIO and Head of the Sports Office, Superintendent of Central Greece and representative of sailing in the Hellenic Olympic Committee. He has been on the board of directors of EIO since the 90's, like almost all the governors of the Federation and since June 1997 he has been acting vice president under the chairmanship of Antonis Dimitrakopoulos.

He is also a party executive of ND in DIMTO Rafina. Immediately after the announcement of the involvement of his name in the case and until its clarification, by a decision of the party, all his party qualities were suspended.

On Saturday afternoon, he himself, in a letter to the president of the Greek Olympic Committee, Spyros Capralos, announced his resignation from his duties at EOE, while characterizing the accusations of the golden Olympian as false. In statements, he stated that he would obviously consult his lawyer and asked that his family not be targeted.

“Rain” of resignations as a sign of support and protest

For reasons of dignity and integrity, George Christopoulos of NE Kalamaki also resigned in writing today.

In his resignation letter he states:

“Mr President,

It is with great sadness that I am obliged to declare to you that I can not remain on the board of directors of the federation after the latest developments regarding the complaints of Mrs. Sofia Bekatorou.

Following these shocking reports, I stand by their general approach in terms of EIO representation and the general climate of further disruption of the sporting spirit that has prevailed lately.

These conditions no longer express me as a person of Nautical Sports, as an Employer who employs dozens of family heads and as a Scientist.

To this end, I submit my resignation as a member of the Board of Directors of EIO with immediate effect “wrote Dr. Christopoulos, Electrical Engineer, to the President of EIO, Antonis Dimitrakopoulos.

Giannis Papadimitriou: “I feel shame, sadness and anger”

On Saturday, the president of the Piraeus Sailing Club and member of the Board of Directors of EIO Giannis Papadimitriou submitted his resignation, expressing his anger and sadness for the event, but also his disappointment for the inferior circumstances of the Federation.

In his resignation letter, Mr. Papadimitriou states:

To the Board E.I.O.

“Mister President,

As a member of the great sailing family, I feel shame, sadness and anger, on the one hand for the complaint of our Olympian Sofia Bekatorou that she was a victim of sexual abuse and on the other hand for the reaction of the Hellenic Sailing Federation which does not time of the revelation and not for the substance, characterizing the complaint in fact, “as an unpleasant incident”.

Following this, I submit my resignation as a member of the Board in order to defend the prestige of the institution of the Federation and the history of the sport. Moreover, to support Sofia that the announcement of EIO, leaves her exposed to such a serious issue.

I am sorry because the reaction of the Federation is less than the circumstances and exposes its members but more the majority of the sailing world that respects the personality and reputation of every athlete. I expected an extraordinary formation of the Board of Directors and immediate activation of the disciplinary bodies, something that did not happen.

I call on justice to speed up the proceedings in order to clarify in depth the complaint that harms the honor and reputation of those who work for the progress and development of the sport “.

Giannis Papadimitriou

President of Piraeus Sailing Club

President of the Sailing Federation: “Well done my girl – We will be by your side”

The president of the sailing federation Antonis Dimitrakopoulos spoke at the Open about the echo of the statements of Sofia Bekatorou. The strong man of EIO stated, among other things:

“We had said that when the name of the perpetrator is announced, we will do everything necessary to restore the truth and suffer the consequences that are foreseen. EIO was not in the mood to downplay the event with its announcement and this was evident from the second announcement which was a continuation of the first.

The Executive Committee requested and received the resignation of the alleged perpetrator of this heinous act, while we also asked him to resign as our representative from the Olympic Committee, which as far as I know was done.

We had no indication that there were such incidents in our area. There has never been a similar complaint in the past and now on this occasion we urge all athletes from all sports to come out and let us know if they have been sexually harassed. We unequivocally condemn such actions wherever they come from.

I have not spoken to Sofia Bekatorou and I have my personal complaint that she was late to speak to me. But if I had her in front of me I would say “well done my girl and from now on we will always be by your side” “.

Prosecutorial intervention for the complaints of the golden Olympian

The Athens Public Prosecutor's Office intervened after the public allegations of Sofia Bekatorou about sexual harassment, which she suffered years ago.

According to information, the head of the Athens Prosecutor's Office, Sotiria Papageorgakopoulou, is expected to order ex officio.

In fact, the Olympian is expected to be summoned on Monday or Tuesday to testify before the prosecutor's office. At the same time, information states that Sofia Bekatorou has referred to the sexual harassment she suffered in the context of an investigation carried out by prosecutor Konstantinos Simitzoglou after allegations by Olympian Nikos Kaklamanakis of mismanagement in the Sailing Federation.

It is worth noting that with the ex-officio intervention of the Athens Prosecutor's Office, Sofia Bekatorou will testify in detail about the incident, regardless of the fact that the reported act was allegedly committed 23 years ago and is therefore statute-barred.

Finally, the sponsorship of “Stavros Niarchos” in the Federation – “Suspicions of scandals can not and should not be ignored”

The “Stavros Niarchos Foundation” expressed its surprise and dissatisfaction with the reaction of the Hellenic Sailing Federation to the complaints of Sofia Bekatorou, making it known that it “freezes” its sponsorship.

In its relevant announcement, the ISN states:

“The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (ISN), in a letter to the President of the Hellenic Sailing Federation (EIO), expresses its surprise and dissatisfaction with the response and the statements of the Federation, regarding the very serious complaint of the Olympian the current donation to support the sailing training program for the disabled.

With the “freezing” of the donation, the ISN does not aim to hit the immediate beneficiaries who are the athletes with disabilities and the sailing clubs that support them, but to protect them, as well as the employees of the Federation.

The ISN selects its donors giving great priority to the ethos and character of their people, as well as to the effective administration and the proper management of the organization.

Suspicions of scandals concerning the operation of organizations and the behavior of their executives raise critical questions about the ability of an organization to do its job and, therefore, can not and should not be ignored.

Nikos Kaklamanakis: “Children threatened not to speak – To put an end to omerta”

In his statements on Open TV, the gold medalist said that from the age of 19 he told him that the Federation is a state within a state “, while he stressed that” there must be an end to omerta “.

He expressed his full support and assistance to Sofia Bekatorou, stating that she is not only a great athlete but also a human being and that what she complained about is added to what he had known for years about the way the Sailing Federation operates.

Nikos Kaklamanakis also complained that agents of the federation “threatened children not to speak”.

Finally, regarding whether he had become aware of other such incidents of abuse, the Olympian replied: “I had heard various things right and left …”.

Mouths opened – In the form of an avalanche the complaints from athletes

After Sofia Bekatorou, the athletes Mania Bikov and Rabea Iatridou made their own revelations about the abuse they suffered.

Thus, shortly after 24 hours after Sofia Bekatorou, revelations of sexual harassment were made by the international swimmer Mania Bykov and the swimmer Rabea Iatridou. International polytheist Mania Bykov shared through her Facebook page her own traumatic experience she experienced at a young age visiting a doctor, who would help her overcome a shoulder injury.

Her post

A few hours later from Mania Bikov came the post of swimmer Rambea Iatridou, who revealed her experience with a doctor who examined her naked, for no apparent reason.

Her post

The third complaint of an athlete -also a sailing champion- for sexual abuse, came to light on Saturday.

The former champion, member of the national team from 1988 to 1998 and Olympic Games executive of World Sailing, Marina Psychogiou, made it known that she herself has fallen victim, with the perpetrator again a member of the federation.

Details of what he wrote:

“I read Sophia's testimony and no, I do not fall from the clouds. I'm not surprised by what he describes, they sound so familiar. There are many messages of support but also many disparaging comments, with the top one being the national authority of our sport, which seems to have a hard time believing it.

Such incidents happen all the time. Everyone deals with it as best they can. But no one ever denounces it. Because even if they do not drive her crazy, or that she wants them too, the least that will happen is that she will be to the displeasure of the coach, the superintendent or the federation. And he will feel ashamed in front of family, friends, the social environment. So, for the good mainly of her own but also of her loved ones, she tries to manage it as best and painlessly as possible. The perpetrators continue unabated, and if they do not sit down, or one of them stops sitting, they go to the next.

In the spring of 1993 I was 20 years old. I had just won the national / qualifying round and I begged the federation to include me in the national team. I had just finished a meeting on the subject at NOTK, in the Faliro Delta, and left to return home by bus. A member of the Board of Directors of EIO approaches me and offers to take me. My grandfather's solar class, at this age you count the older people. It was cold and I thought why not, thank you very much. Leaving NOTK, it then had a bus starting point, lines 450 and 550.

So the gentleman stops the car and starts a discussion that in order for EIO to support me there must be someone who fights for me and he can undertake to help me if I am also a good girl. With kindness and nice words and flattery he spread. He grabbed my leg, he came very close to me, he told me not to be afraid, what is done is for my good. It was a very uncomfortable situation, I was trying to understand how it is possible for this big man to approach me like this, I was trying to decide what to do.

It was not easy to react, it would be rude to tell him that I did not want him to take me home or talk badly to him. At one point he went to kiss me and I told him that I would win at sea and I do not need such support because it is unfair to all others who will not have anyone to support them. I opened the door, got out of the car and ran and got on the bus waiting at the starting point. On the way home I decided that I would not say anything to anyone because if my parents found out they would stop me from sailing.

And of course there was no way I could say anything to anyone in the sport environment because that would mean even more displeasure. I just made sure never to give him another chance to be alone with me. Neither in this nor in anyone else. I did not remember it now. But now is the time to do something about it. Not so much to punish the perpetrators of various incidents in the past but much more importantly, to create a safer environment for everyone in the society we live in. There should not be the conditions for such situations to be created “.

Read more at Newsbomb.gr

Source: www.newsbomb.com.cy

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