Tennis star Iga Swiatek calls for sex abuse inquiry

Posted: 23rd November 2022

The women’s world No 1 tennis player, Iga Swiatek of Poland, has hit out at abuse in the game after the head of the country’s tennis association was accused of sexual assault.

“I’m against violence in sports, in tennis, in every discipline and in everyday life. That’s why I consider the articles about the president of the Polish Tennis Association as a serious matter,” Swiatek wrote on Twitter. “Governing bodies should determine what happened.”

Polish tennis has been gripped by claims against Mirosław Skrzypczynski, the latest from a member of parliament who accused him of sexually abusing her when she was 13 and he was her tennis coach.

“I hope that with exposure of such matters and solving them carefully and fairly, sports will change for the better, in Poland and in the world,” Swiatek said, stressing that she had not been a victim herself.

The MP, Katarzyna Kotula, 45, said she had decided to come forward after Skrzypczynski denied abuse allegations made against him anonymously as “ungrounded” and part of a “brutal political fight”. He and the tennis association have yet to comment on the latest accusations. He did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment from The Times.

Kotula told the news site Onet: “If Mirosław Skrzypczynski wants names, very well, I am not afraid to speak up: my name is Katarzyna Kotula and years ago as a child I was hurt by him.

“Behind closed doors, he touched my intimate places, my breasts, buttocks. Mirosław Skrzypczynski sexually assaulted me at least a dozen times over three years.” She added: “I was a kid, 13 years old . . . He was a sexual predator.”

She said Skrzypczynski was considered “an incredible coach” and “was meant to bring the players to new heights” when he joined a tennis club, in her home town Gryfino, northwestern Poland.

Poland’s deputy prime minister, Jacek Sasin, said he was shocked by the reports about Skrzypczynski and called on sponsors to boycott the association.


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