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Polish cycling chief quits over sex abuse scandal

Polish cycling chief Dariusz Banaszek stood down on Friday amid a sexual abuse and corruption scandal.

WARSAW (AFP) — Polish cycling chief Dariusz Banaszek stood down on Friday amid a sexual abuse and corruption scandal.

Banaszek, who became president of Poland’s cycling federation (PZKol) in 2016 said he was resigning “for the good of cycling” while protesting his innocence.

Banaszek quits an organization in the eye of a storm sparked by accusations that PZKol board members carried out serious sex crimes including rape against minors.

The claims were made by former PZKol vice president Piotr Kosmala, who described the scope of the affair as “appalling.”

As a result of Kosmala’s allegations, the Polish Sports Minister Witold Banka called for the federation board’s dismissal and cut off funding to the organization.

PZKol is heavily in debt and its accounts were seized by bailiffs, local agency PAP reported.

In December, eight of its nine board members answered Banka’s call and stood down, with only Banaszek holding out, until Friday.

Speaking when the case first emerged Banaszek told reporters: “There was no scandal of morality, there was no investigation that would prove it, there is no need for an indictment.”