Polish Cycling Federation facing sexual assault accusations

A former Polish Cycling Federation president has leveled sexual assault allegations at a leader of the governing body.

VARSOVIE, Poland (AFP) — Former Polish Cycling Federation president Piotr Kosmala has leveled sexual assault allegations at an unnamed leader of the governing body. On Sunday, officials denied the accusations of sexual assault and rape.

Kosmala said in an interview Saturday that a federation executive had committed sexual assaults, including rapes, against members of the federation. Kosmala says some of the assaults involved minors.

He described the scope of the case as “appalling.” The former president said the accused official had also forced cyclists to pay commissions of 20-50 percent of prize money under the table. Kosmala told Polish website that he left the organization because CEO Dariusz Banaszek was trying to sweep the scandal under the rug.

In a statement released on Sunday, the Federation’s management rejected “fully and categorically the opinions and accusations presented by Piotr Kosmala.”

As a result of these accusations, sports minister Witold Bańka told Polish press that “the only way to clean up the federation” was the “immediate resignation of all the executive board.”

Bańka also told Radio Poland that the federation’s sponsor Orlen, a state-run oil refiner, had withdrawn its financial support for the organization.