Ukraine's Olympic champion accuses Belarusian gymnast of rape 26 years ago


Ukraine's Olympic champion accuses Belarusian gymnast of rape 26 years ago

Two-time Olympic champion in artistic gymnastics Ukrainian Tatiana Gutsu accused her teammate - six-time Olympic champion Vitaly Shcherbo from Belarus in rape.

The 41-year-old athlete wrote on her Facebook page that the incident occurred 26 years ago in Stuttgart. At the time of the rape, Gutsu was 15 years old.

Tatiana Gutsu:
The one who raped me in German Stuttgart in 1991 was Vitaly Shcherbo. The monster, because of whom I lived in prison of fears for many years. I know that you will try to protect yourself. But my evidence is much stronger than your words. Now I am stronger than ever. You cannot break me anymore.

She called her story "The story of Cinderella."

Tatiana Gutsu. Photo by Stephan Savoia / AP Images

Vitaly Shcherbo has not commented on the statement of the former teammate.

According to the gymnast, at least two people from the team knew about what had happened. Gutsu names them: Tatiana Toropova and Rustam Sharipov.

According to the sportswoman, she considered Toropova her friend in the team, but she did not protect her, although she heard everything.

Tatyana Gutsu:
Thank you for not having the courage when it was needed most to fight for the rights of women in such a terrible situation. But no means no.

The gymnast thanked Sharipov for being a good friend for Shcherbo and not defending her.

At the end of the post, the sportswoman said that she would support anyone who was afraid to talk about such terrible things.

Commentators supported Tatyana Gutsu. They noted that it's very bold to talk about a childhood trauma.

"You took the first step. You are so brave and beautiful as an Olympian. It hurts you, but the sports world applauds your courage."

"Tatyana, you were one of my favorite gymnasts. It's awful to read. You are very brave if you could talk about it. I hope this will help other women to show courage in defending the right things."