Greece ministry urges probe after Olympic medallist talks of sexual assault

Greece’s government will look thoroughly into allegations by Greek athletes of sexual harassment and clean up the country’s sports community, Greek deputy sports minister Lefteris Avgenakis said on Sunday.

Sports officials made similar statements after many female athletes spoke out against harrassment this week.

“We support you. Zero tolerance for healthy sports,” Avgenakis tweeted, urging judicial and sports disciplinary authorities to investigate the cases and more athletes to break their silence.

Greek Olympic sailing champion Sofia Bekatorou, 43, who had won a gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics and a bronze in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, revealed that she had been sexually assaulted in 1998 by a Hellenic Sailing Federation official.

On Saturday she named him as Aristidis Adamopoulos, vice-president of the Hellenic Sailing Federation, who was forced to resign from his post on Saturday evening. He denied the accusations in a press statement.

After Bekatorou, four other former athletes from various sports said that they suffered harassment by sports officials and team doctors over the past three decades. They added that they had not filed complaints for years out of humiliation and fear.

On Saturday, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that he stood by the victims’ sides. On Monday, Bekatorou will be received by Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

Meanwhile, the Athens public prosecutor’s office will begin an investigation into Beka revelations, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.