Retired Greek triple jumper Hrysopiyi Devetzi said on Thursday that she was a victim of sexual assault at the start of her career by “a major athlete.”
A silver medallist from the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Devetzi revealed neither the identity of her alleged attacker nor the year the assault occurred during an interview with Greek television station Alpha but said she had kept quiet to protect his family.
“One day he had called me to his office to talk about athletics and at some point he squeezed me, went to touch me, took off his pants and threw me on the couch,” the 45-year-old said.
“Luckily God helped me and his phone rang and I escaped.
“I kept it secret for many years. He was married with children and the reason I did not say so was because I respected his children and nothing else.”
Devetzi retired in 2009 after being given a two-year ban following her refusal to undergo an anti-doping test.
Her athletics reputation was further tarnished in 2016 when she was stripped of the bronze medal she won at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 after a re-analysis of her doping sample.
Devetzi said she belongs to the #MeToo social movement against sexual abuse and sexual harassment where people publicise allegations of sex crimes.
“I was getting the medals and I could not be happy. For many years I said I had to speak. Eventually I disappeared and went to a monastery for a short time and prayed,” Devetzi said.
Last February former Olympic champion Sofia Bekatorou went public about being raped by a senior member of the Greek sailing federation when she was 23, effectively launching the #MeToo movement in Greece.