Athlete Jimmy Gressier is accused of sexual harassment by Claire Palou

New case of sexual harassment in sport. This time, it is the runner and French 5,000m record holder Jimmy Gressier who is accused. The Paris public prosecutor’s office opened a preliminary investigation into sexual harassment according to information from L’Equipe this Tuesday, February 6, subsequently confirmed by numerous media. In detail, the investigation was opened following a report “under article 40” of the Code of Criminal Procedure, made by the director general of the National Institute of Sport (Insep) in October 2023 .

The accuser, Claire Palou, a former French athletics hopeful in the 3,000m steeplechase, had denounced a rape and sexual assault suffered between the ages of 14 and 19 to Fabien Canu, the director of Insep, and the French Federation athletics (FFA). It was during the revelation of these facts that according to L’Equipe, that she claimed to have been a victim of sexual harassment on the part of Jimmy Gressier.

In a testimony to franceinfo, last May, Claire Palou spoke of “sexual harassment” suffered “during the first months of 2021 (…) from an athlete from the French team, who was part of my training group at Insep”. Without actually naming the athlete, she declared: “He made a lot of comments about my physique, about what excited him about my body. One day, he told me that he wanted to ‘eat my ass’ “He then threatened me to stop me from talking about it, that ‘it was going to go badly for me’ and that he could ‘get me out of Insep’. I felt permanent stress.” For his part, Jimmy Gressier “disputes the facts” with which he is accused, his lawyer responded to AFP.