Second Claim Of Sexual Misconduct Against Former U.S. Olympic Speedskater
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Ex-skater and former US Speedskating President Andy Gabel faces a second accusation of sexual misconduct, as first reported by member station WUWM in Milwaukee.
Former skater Nikki Meyer told the NPR affiliate that she was assaulted by Gabel in the 1990s when she was 15 and he was 26.
Meyer's allegations follow similar accusations made by fellow speedskater Bridie Farrell early this month that she was sexually abused by Gabel in the late 1990s, when she, too was 15 and Gabel in his 30s.
Meyer told The Associated Press that Farrell's story "was almost like a carbon copy of a chapter in my life."
In response, the The Chicago Tribune says, Gabel issued a statement "that he had a 'brief, inappropriate relationship with a female teammate,' made no excuses for his behavior and apologized to her for it."
Gabel has also stepped down from his roles at US Speedskating and the International Skating Union. In a statement issued Friday night to WUWM, Gabel said:
"I want to emphasize, there was no incident of any abuse ever. I never forced myself on any individual and any allegations of that nature are absolutely false."
Also Friday, US Speedskating released its own statement, saying it was "aware of a second allegation brought by another athlete against a former board member." The organization said it is having a law firm investigate the allegations brought by both athletes.
"US Speedskating will not tolerate abuse of any kind and we intend to investigate these claims, and any others that arise."
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