Athletics: Frenchman Jimmy Gressier Under Investigation for Sexual Harassment

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Jimmy Gressier, a 26-year-old 5,000m runner, *“has already had to explain himself to sports authorities,”* *“disputes the facts and reserves his explanations for the justice system,”* said his lawyer Me Antoine Maisonneuve to the AFP. *“Omertà”* within the Federation.

According to *L’Équipe*, Gressier is being accused by Claire Palou, a former training partner at Insep and a 3,000-meter steeplechase specialist. Palou, 22, reportedly spoke to Patrick Ranvier, the national technical director (NTD) of the French Athletics Federation (FFA) in April 2023 about this.

An interview triggered by her own revelations a few days earlier in a podcast, regarding a rape she suffered at the age of 14, as well as sexual assaults. These incidents do not involve Gressier.

Following the interview between Panou and Ranvier, where the athlete confided about the harassment she claims to have suffered from Gressier, the FFA conducted a disciplinary investigation against the runner, who was interviewed in July, which did not result in any sanctions. She had opened up about the sexual harassment by an athlete *“very publicized and well-protected by his level,”* without mentioning his name then.

*“I did not receive any particular support from my federation in which I felt the very heavy weight of omertà,”* she stated. Jimmy Gressier participated in the World Athletics Championships in Budapest (Hungary) in August 2023.

He finished 9th in the 5,000 meters final in 13 minutes and 17.20 seconds.

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