Launched three months ago, the parliamentary commission of inquiry into dysfunctions in sports federations seems to bother certain French sports executives, including the new president of the Olympic committee (CNOSF) David Lappartient, who denounced “outrageous accusations” in a letter. . French sport seems decidedly prone to crises. After football, rugby, gym, and even the CNOSF, a new front has opened 10 months before the Olympics, on a more political level this time.
Barely elected as president of the CNOSF on June 29, David Lappartient decided to cross swords with this commission of inquiry, initiated by the environmentalist deputy Sabrina Sebaihi of Hauts-de-Seine.
“It’s disturbing that we’re tampering with an established system”
In a letter dated July 19 revealed Thursday by Le Monde that AFP was able to consult, and addressed to Sabrina Sebaihi, the Breton elected official, also a member of the IOC, said he was “surprised” at the description of the sporting world as “a terribly opaque environment” by the said commission. Referring during the various hearings to “caricatural representations”, David Lappartient denounces “outrageous accusations”, and questions “the objectives”, “the exact purposes” of the commission launched “400 days before the opening of the Games Olympic Games in Paris. “This is a new blow that you are dealing to the French sporting model,” he asserts.
A frontal attack that the environmentalist MP had little taste for. “It’s very problematic that David Lappartient calls into question the work of parliamentarians. It’s as if the image of the Olympics was more important,” she protested to AFP. “This is the first time that the very principle of a commission of inquiry has been contested, it is more than just lobbies being set in motion, I find it totally undemocratic.” “Perhaps it is disturbing that we are tampering with a system that has been in place for years. If the only answer is everything is going well in the best of all possible worlds or we have already put things in place, that does not It’s not going to happen,” she insists.
A platform for reporting violence in sport
Since the launch of the work of this commission, numerous testimonies on cases of sexual violence in sport, but also on serious problems of governance have been heard. According to Sabrina Sebaihi, all these testimonies combine to depict a sporting world “living in isolation”. With the president of the commission Béatrice Bellamy (Horizons, Vendée), she launched on September 13 a platform for reporting violence in sport called “Balance ton sport”.
An initiative immediately criticized by the Minister of Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, who reacted on France Culture three days later by emphasizing “that a single platform” existed to “collect reports of violence, and in particular of sexist violence, it is called Signal-Sports”. Set up by the Ministry of Sports in 2020, this unit received more than 1,000 reports according to sports director Fabienne Bourdais, figures given during her hearing by the commission of inquiry.
“The launch of a new reporting platform could lead to confusion and a loss of reports,” regrets a source close to the sports movement.
“An environment that is tense and fears a bad image”
Sabrina Sebaihi assures that she has already received a “hundred testimonies” on the new platform, “some that the federations do not want to hear”. “The Signal-Sports cell exists, but athletes are not aware of it,” she snaps. Le Monde also reported on Thursday a letter sent by the president of the French Football Federation (FFF) Philippe Diallo to the president of the National Assembly Yaël Braun-Pivet (Renaissance), to complain about the journalist’s hearing influencer Romain Molina.
The president of the 3F is offended by the “content of the hearing (…) seriously calling into question [ses] employees, managers and volunteers”, denouncing “deceptive and insulting” comments. “There is an increase in pressure from an environment which is tense and fears a bad image. This will not prevent us from carrying out our parliamentary work in an independent and transparent manner,” assures MP Béatrice Bellamy, member of the presidential majority. The commission must complete its work at the end of the year.