French ice-skating federation president resigns over sex abuse scandal

    Didier Gailhaguet, seen here with reporters, had previously refused to stand down, saying he had "absolutely not protected" anyone

    (CNN)The president of France's national ice-skating federation Didier Gailhaguet resigned on Saturday over criticism of his handling of sex abuse allegations against a former national coach.

    Gailhaguet's resignation comes after claims of rape and sexual harassment against Gilles Beyer by former skaters he had trained.
    "In the spirit of conciliation, I took the sensible decision to resign with philosophy, dignity but no bitterness," Gailhaguet, 66, told journalists in Paris on Saturday.
      In a book published last week, Sarah Abitbol, a former pairs skater and World bronze medalist who is now 44, accused Beyer of raping her several times from 1990 to 1992 when she was between the ages of 15 and 17.
      Abitbol (right) and her skating partner, Stephane Bernadis, perform on their way to winning Pairs Silver during the European Skating Championships.
      Several other former skaters have come forward in French media and made claims of sexual abuse or harassment against Beyer in the past week.
      In a press conference on Wednesday, France's sports minister Roxana Maracineanu had called for Gailhaguet's resignation. </