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Police probe more sexual abuse cases in sport

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Sexual harassment cases in Cyprus sport are mounting as police are now looking into two more coaches who were reported for inappropriate behaviour by athletes.

Following Olympic shooter Andri Eleftheriou’s coming forward and reporting a sports official last month, another five athletes have come forward claiming they too were sexually assaulted by those they trusted.

In total, police are looking into several incidents of sexual harassment, with two cases involving the sport’s official reported by Eleftheriou.

Another case involves a track and field coach, for whom police have reports from four different athletes that he had sexually abused them.

The last case involves a basketball coach reported to have sexually harassed one of his former players.

More women have come forward after Eleftheriou, 36, had spoken about her ordeal and then filed an official accusation to police.

Although Eleftheriou had spoken out about incidents of sexual harassment that took place when she was younger, her allegations were only taken seriously following an avalanche of sexual assault claims in Greece by top athletes.

Eleftheriou, now 36, had said she did not file an official complaint before fearing that nothing would be done.

She decided to testify after a recent meeting with Justice Minister Emily Yiolitis, who encouraged her to give police the name of her abuser.

A unit has been set up at police Headquarters to investigate the harassment cases.

It has already summoned the track and field coach to give his account, and once the file is completed, the case will be sent to legal services for further instruction.

The basketball coach is also expected to be called in for questioning.

Police looked into him several years ago but had not found enough evidence to build a case.

According to reports, the basketball player’s father has presented new facts to authorities who have reopened the case.

Justice Minister Emily Yiolitis congratulated Eleftheriou for coming forward, paving the way for more victims to do so.

Eleftheriou, who initially did not report her case to authorities, did so on the Justice Minister’s encouragement, after claims of sexual abuse filed by Greek Olympic gold medallist Sofia Bekatorou.