A senior Greek sporting official has quit following sexual abuse allegations made by Sofia Bekatorou, one of Greece’s top female Olympians.
Gold and Bronze medal winner Ms Bekatorou went public with her allegations, stating that a member of the Hellenic Sailing Federation (HSF) performed a “lewd act” on her after inviting her to his hotel room in 1988.
Ms Bekatorou did not name the individual, however HSF Vice President Aristeidis Adamopoulos stepped down on Saturday soon after the allegations were made.
Mr Adamopoulos said he resigned following the negative publicity which followed the allegations and the effects that this would have on the Hellenic Olympic committee.
The HSF initially labelled the accusation as an “unpleasant incident” causing a huge backlash.
Ms Bekatorou said the incident was non-consensual during an online event organised by Greece’s sport ministry aimed at protecting children in sports.
Soon after her address, an investigation began into the incident which took place in 1988 ahead of the 2000 Sydney Olympics when Ms Bekatorou was 21 years old.
“I said no, I repeated that I didn’t want to go on and he used fake sweet talk and said it is nothing,” Ms Bekatorou said.
“He said he would stop if I didn’t want it but he didn’t, no matter what I said to him.”
Ms Bekatorou, aged 43, said that she had not spoken out at the time for fear of the repercussions, saying she was left with feelings of “shame” and was also concerned that her own family would stop her from sports.
She broke her silence in an effort to encourage other young athletes to share their experience.
Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is among the politicians who praised Ms Bekatorou for coming forward.
“Sofia bravely broke the chain of fear and silence, showing the way for the stigma of guilt to pass from the victim to the perpetrator,” Mr Mitsotakis wrote on Facebook.
“This way she became an Olympiad of responsibility, on behalf of all of us.”