Since the beginning of November, languages have been loosened in French judo. The testimony of an ex-judoka who was allegedly raped by her trainer at the age of 13, has spoken freely and several cases of sexual abuse have been reported to the Judo Federation (FFJDA) in recent days.
This Saturday, we learn that a former executive of the French Judo Federation between 2012 and 2016, coach in a club in the North of France, was recently suspended by the federation, also suspected of several sexual assaults, of after several corroborating sources contacted by AFP.
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The man, aged about sixty, is therefore no stranger in the world of judo. He was also part of the management committee of the federation for four years, and, in this capacity, worked alongside the current president of the FFJDA, Jean-Luc Rougé, whose mandate is called into play next week.
“They know each other. But at the same time, at this level, it’s normal, believes a source close to the case who ensures that this trainer had already been the subject of a report. A few years ago, someone reported incriminating facts about this former league president. But nothing has ever been done ”.
According to several sources, this ex-leader of French judo was the trainer of the professor indicted for rape of a minor, whose victim testified in the Parisian. “They were in the same club”, indicates another source to the federation.
“I received a letter from the federation and I know where it comes from. My person was suspicious. These are disagreements between people in a club ”, defended the former member of the management of the suspended federation to AFP.
But this case raises questions. The day after the testimony appeared in the Parisian, on November 3, Jean-Luc Rougé and several officials of the federation participated in a crisis meeting, according to sources inside the federation. The case of this former leader was then mentioned, “As being likely to arise”, assures one of these sources.
“Things will have to change”
Jean-Luc Rougé says “Do not remember having mentioned the name of this person” at this meeting. He claims to have been alerted to this coach for the first time during a meeting with the Minister of Sports on the evening of November 3.
“When we exchanged our lifts (reports, editor’s note), with Jean-Luc, this person did not appear in their painting ”, said Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu, who said in an interview with Libération “Be rather mixed on reactivity” of the FFJDA on this issue of deviant behavior.
Were the federation or some of its members aware of the actions of one of their own? An inspection mission launched in judo will allow, according to the Minister of Sports to“Investigate further to see what is happening with these people who have sailed to different positions within the federation”.
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This new case contributes in any case to an awareness in judo. “How could a coach operate like this for years without anyone seeing him?”, asks a former judoka who requested anonymity. “It’s going to have to change.”
These successive cases fall rather badly for Jean-Luc Rougé, who, at 71, will aim in a week for a fifth term as president of the French Judo Federation.
LIBERATION with AFP