*Content warning: This story is about sexual assault. It may contain graphic descriptions and strong language, and may be confronting and disturbing.
Earlier, GCT reported that Olympic sailing champion Sofia Bekatorou accused a sporting official of sexually assaulting her in 1998 during preparations for the Sydney Games.
Bekatorou said the male official from the Hellenic Sailing Federation performed a “lewd act” after inviting her to his hotel room to discuss team preparations.
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.”
This man, according to the testimony of the Olympian herself to the Prosecutor, is the current vice-president of EIO and Head of the Sports Office, Superintendent of Central Greece, Aristidis Adamopoulos.
New Democracy immediately suspended the membership of Aristidis Adamopoulos, who is a member of its Eastern Attica division.
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.”
Aristidis Adamopoulos responded to the allegations via a letter to the the President of the Greek Olympic Committee, Spyros Capralos, which reads:
I follow with surprise the statements of Sofia Bekatorou, according to which I allegedly sexually abused her 23 years ago.
I was informed of this for the first time today and, as I have already stated, the complaint is false, defamatory and submissive.
Nevertheless, I fully understand that, due to the great negative publicity that the issue has received, it is very likely that the prestige of the Greek Olympic Committee will be damaged, which must always be high for the good of Greek sports.
For this reason alone and with full awareness of my responsibility towards the E.O.E., I declare to you that from today until the full clarification of this case by the competent authorities I will cease to participate in the meetings of the bodies of the EU. Ο.Ε.,of which I am a member and I will generally abstain from the exercise of my duties from any other position I hold in the Hellenic Olympic Committee.
On Saturday, two other retired athletes came forward with similar accusations involving physicians decades earlier.
Retired water polo player Mania Bikof said she had been forced to roll down her bathing suit to her waist so a medic could examine a shoulder injury, while ex-swimmer Rabea Iatridou said she had been groped.
Where to find support if you have been impacted by rape, sexual assault or domestic violence:
- 1800 respect (Greece)
- Reach out (Australia)
- RAINN (USA)