VIENNA (Reuters) – An independent commission will investigate former Austrian skiers’ allegations of sexual assaults by coaches, supervisors and team members from the 1970s until at least 2005, the Austrian province of Tyrol said on Tuesday.
Former Olympic skier Nicola Werdenigg said last month that she was raped when she was 16 by a male team colleague and that what happened to her was not an isolated incident.
More former Austrian ski athletes have since spoken out, though anonymously, since Werdenigg’s interview, reporting similar experiences and suggesting the abuse was systemic.
The issue in Austria has arisen as numerous allegations of sexual harassment in entertainment, business, politics and sport have been made worldwide in recent months.
Werdenigg, the 1975 Austria downhill champion, did not reveal any names in her interview with the daily Der Standard. She alleged assaults and sexual violence by coaches, supervisors, colleagues, service staff at a Tyrolean boarding school for ski racers.