Accused of sexual abuse, coach Fernando de Carvalho is banned from gymnastics



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Almost a year after a series of allegations of sexual abuse involving his name surfaced, the former coach of the Brazilian men's gymnastics team Fernando de Carvalho Lopes was banned from the sport. The decision was taken this Sunday by the Plenary of the Superior Court of Sports Justice (STJD) of the Brazilian Confederation of Gymnastics (CBG).

The trial was conducted at the headquarters of the Brazilian Bar Association (Aracaju) and took into account the allegations of sexual abuse and harassment made by athletes who worked with the coach in the Brazilian national team and in the Club Movement of Catholic Social Expansion (Mesc), of São Bernardo do Campo (SP).

The sentence was unanimously defined by the STJD through the vote of the rapporteur William Figueiredo and was based on the Code of Conduct and Statutes of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).

The jury found Fernando de Carvalho guilty on the basis of articles 243 ("to embarrass someone, through violence, serious threat or by any other means") and 258 ("to assume any conduct contrary to discipline or sports ethics not typified by the other rules of this Code ") Of the Brazilian Code of Sport Justice. In addition to banning the sport, the former coach of the national team was also fined R $ 1.6 million.

There is no recourse to the court's decision in Brazil, but Fernando de Carvalho's lawyers may appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland.

In November 2018, in the first trial of the case, the coach had already been convicted by the First Committee of the STJD of gymnastics in Brasília, almost four years of suspension, in addition to having received a fine of R $ 300 thousand.

THE CASE – Fernando de Carvalho Lopes, former coach of the Brazilian men's gymnastics team and a former employee of Mesc, in São Bernardo do Campo, was the target of an investigation by the São Paulo State Public Prosecutor's Office for alleged sexual abuse committed against boys, minors, between the years of 1999 and 2016. The complaint was made in TV Globo's Fantástico program in April of last year.

According to the report, Fernando de Carvalho Lopes had committed sexual abuse for several years in training, physical tests and even on trips with several athletes. Police proceeded to investigate the case from a 13-year-old boy reported as the first victim to report the incident.

It was because of a report of sexual abuse that Fernando de Carvalho Lopes was removed from the Brazilian national team one month before the beginning of the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016. The coach has always worked with the base categories, started in volleyball and changed for gymnastics.

The athletes accuse the coach of taking advantage of the young age and the lack of technical knowledge. According to them, the coach touched them in their private parts constantly. Pan American champion for teams with the Brazilian team in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2011, Pétrix Barbosa, now 26, was one of those who confirmed the abuses and told that he arrived "to wake up with Fernando's hand inside my pants ". Subsequently, other athletes came to the public and denounced the coach for sexual abuse.

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