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French judo coach Alain Schmitt, accused by Olympic judo champion Margaux Pinot of home violence, claimed on Friday that he had merely defended himself in a struggle that he stated she began.
Pinot, who gained combined workforce gold on the Tokyo Olympics, has accused Schmitt — her accomplice and former coach — of attacking her in a drunken rage whereas she was in mattress in her condominium Saturday evening.
“He straddled me, and began punching me, left and proper,” the 27-year previous informed a information convention on Thursday, her face coated in bruises.
“I did not even defend myself to keep away from the punches, as a substitute I attempted to purpose with him. I stated ‘Cease Alain, cease’,” she stated. “I assumed to myself, I have to get away from him, or I am going to die right here”.
Police arrested Schmitt, however he was launched after a court docket listening to early Wednesday, with the decide saying that there was inadequate proof to help the home violence allegation.
“My impression is that I used to be defending myself,” Schmitt informed the BFMTV broadcaster Friday. “I’ve by no means hit a girl in my complete life. In my intimate life I’m a young individual.”
Prosecutors instantly lodged an attraction towards the court docket’s choice which sparked widespread anger, together with from candidates campaigning for subsequent yr’s French presidential election.
Far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon known as the incident “revolting” and stated in regards to the court docket’s choice: “What else do they want? For her to die?”
Socialist candidate Anne Hidalgo, who’s the mayor of Paris, stated that Pinot “has all my help”, whereas Sports activities Minister Roxana Maracineanu stated that “Margaux is clearly the sufferer right here”.
However Schmitt stated that it was Pinot who attacked him, out of anger as a result of he was about to go away for Israel the place he had been employed to educate the nationwide girls judo workforce.
Schmitt stated he accepted the job to get out of the connection with Pinot which he stated had been “sophisticated” over the previous two years.
He informed BFMTV that, in the course of the struggle, he tried to go away the condominium, however “every time I used to be pulled again, by my T-shirt or my arm”.
He insisted that he “neither punched nor kicked” her. “I am not violent. Everyone wants to listen to that,” he stated.
Schmitt, who had a big bruise on one facet of his face, reiterated that they each crashed into partitions and the ground in the course of the judo-style struggle which he stated defined the accidents.
Pinot has rejected Schmitt’s model of occasions, telling reporters: “He is mendacity.”
Following the accusations, the Israeli judo federation broke off contact with Schmitt.
Other than her Olympic medal, Pinot has notably gained two European champion titles and a world championship bronze medal.