Rififi on the tatami mats at Les Bleues

There is a more serene context for approaching a competition. From November 19 to 21, the French judo team, multi-titled at the world level, will compete in the European Championships in Prague. But, among women, it is a cracked tricolor clan that appears in the Czech Republic. Two of its representatives, Madeleine Malonga and Margaux Pinot, are the subject of a complaint for “Public insults” and “Premeditated violence” with the prosecutor’s office in Créteil (Val-de-Marne), filed by Astride Gneto, their teammate in club and at Les Bleues, as revealed The team, October 16.

The facts date back to October 2 in a hotel room in Brest (Finistère), on the sidelines of the French team championships. Aware of the tensions within his collective, Alain Schmitt, trainer at the Etoile Sportive du Blanc-Mesnil (ESBM), decides to bring together his athletes. « He explained to them that the behavior of the group was not satisfactory. The teammates did not say hello to each other ”, specify at World a club official.

At the end of the meeting, the captain, Madeleine Malonga, asked members of her team to stay for “To burst the abscess, in particular with Astride [Gneto]. There was a verbal explanation, the tone rose and there was a physical clash ”. More than a month after the fact, at ESBM, we still say to ourselves ” very surprised “ follow-up given to the hang-up. The day after the altercation, the judokas would have assured their coach that “Everything was back to normal”.

Read also The Judo Federation announces that it has identified new cases of sexual violence

“Pressure to withdraw his complaint”

Margaux Pinot, during her victorious fight for third place at the 2019 World Cup, in Japan.

After having conducted its own interviews with the protagonists of the incident, the management of the club now ensures that“There was no intention to want to undermine the integrity of Astride” and that the reasons which motivated these actions “ are of an extrasportive nature, intrinsic to any sports group ”. The three judokas concerned did not respond to our maintenance requests.

Contacted by The world, Astride Gneto’s lawyer, Eytan Benichou, specifies that the French champion of – 52 kg “Will go to the end of his legal action, until his quality of victim is recognized”. In a sport marred by cases of sexual violence, he also assures that his client « is under pressure from various people to withdraw his complaint ”.

« The world of judo has been living badly for a few years, there are quarrels on all levels ”(Stéphane Nomis, candidate for the presidency of the French Judo Federation)

This case recalls the altercation that broke out in 2013 at the National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance (Insep) between Anne-Fatoumata M’Bairo on the one hand and Clarisse Agbegnenou, Priscilla Gneto, Madeleine Malonga, Fanny-Estelle Posvite and Linsay Tsang Sam Moï, on the other hand. These last five athletes were prosecuted for “Meeting violence”, but only the quadruple world champion Clarisse Agbegnenou had been sentenced – to seventy hours of community service as well as to pay 2,780 euros in damages to Anne-Fatoumata M’Bairo. The other incriminated judokats had nevertheless been suspended for three months by the French Judo Federation.

« The world of judo has been living poorly for a few years, there are quarrels on all floors, testifies the former international Stéphane Nomis, candidate for the presidency of the federation, whose election takes place Sunday, November 22. This type of behavior is not acceptable, the France team must be exemplary. “

Eight months before the Tokyo Olympics, this new case could jeopardize the participation of the two internationals involved. “A federal disciplinary investigation was opened on October 29”, let the World the president of the federation, Jean-Luc Rougé, without giving more details.

Read also Sexual violence: a former leader of the judo federation suspended

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