Angélique Cauchy is 36 years old, and by her own admission, she has only been better “since January”. In 1999, at the age of 12, this budding tennis player, French No.2 among juniors, fell under the influence of her coach, Andrew Gueddes, at the Sarcelles club (Val-d'Oise). “I was raped almost 400 times by my tennis coach, for two years”, as she confided last May to Franceinfo.
In July, a commission of inquiry was launched, relating to the identification "of the operating failures within sports federations, the sports movement and the governing bodies of the sports world". Angélique Cauchy thus testified before deputies at the Palais Bourbon on Tuesday, September 5. Calm, calm voice, she delivered the sordid details of what Andrew Gueddes, sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2021 for rape and sexual assault on four young girls aged 12 to 17, did to her.
“It was done in not even two or three months, says Cauchy. I said, "No you don't have to, it's not right. I don't want to." He said to me, "You know, that happens a lot in coach/coachee relationships." The former tennis player, "stunned" during the acts, remembers the dark thoughts that crossed her mind: "I had a small notebook with the autographs of the PSG players, because I was going to see them at Camp des Loges (the PSG training center, editor's note). And between these sheets, I wrote: "I can't take it anymore, this has to stop, I'm going to make everything stop." thought so many times about killing myself.”
Like many other victims, Cauchy was taken by her trainer to La Baule, where Gueddes was from. “It was the worst two weeks of my life,” said Cauchy. He raped me three times a day. The first night he asked me to go to his room and I didn't go. And so he came to mine. It was worse. I was a prisoner, I couldn't leave whenever I wanted, and then I had to stay in the place where it happened."
Stuck, forced, the young girl she was resolved to opt for the least worst of solutions. “The evenings after, it seems crazy, but I went there on my own, and I took these thirteen steps which separated me from his room to go and get raped”, continues Cauchy. Gueddes went so far as to tell him “that he had AIDS” and that he “gave it to him”. “I lived between 13 and 18 thinking I had AIDS,” shares the woman whose screening will tell her that she has never been infected.
The omerta thus persisted for years. "In the world of tennis, it was known that he was... not correct with girls, young girls", develops Angélique Cauchy. And to recall what had been revealed during the investigation of the trial of Gueddes: "Only one lady had gone to see the president of the club saying that he had inappropriate behavior towards young people with verbal, physical violence, and a behavior ambiguous with some players. The president had answered him: "Yes but he brings us titles."
The commission's report is expected in December 2023. Other people from the sporting world, such as former skater Sarah Abitbol, also a victim of rape by her former coach Gilles Beyer when she was a minor, are expected to report. bear witness.
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