Peizerat starts race for the French fed presidency

Gwendal Peizerat

2002 Olympic champion Gwendal Peizerat put forward his candidature for the president of the French Federation of Ice Sports.

The Frenchman announced his decision yesterday in Japan, where was held the 2014 World Championships.

French fed’s presidential elections will be held on June 20-21. French media believe that Peizerat has very good chances to win and that his candidacy will support such people as Philippe Candeloro, Sarah Abitbol, Stéphane Bernadis, Stanick Jeannette and Alban Préaubert.

“I have a great desire to budge the system that has become very conservative in recent years. Pushing forward my candidacy, I’m happy to get the support of a large number of people who want changes.” Le Figaro quotes Peizerat.

Olympic champion thinks that the current president of the French federation Didier Gailhaguet is the main cause of “threats and/or intimidation of skating clubs presidents and ordinary members of the federation.”

“It is important that the club presidents realize the power that belongs to them. All those who tried to go against the system were discouraged and humiliated by the president who does not want to leave his place and blocking the system for 20 years. Also, many criticize this system for high licensing costs and the lack of federal support. This is all wrong. I’m here to reassure those who received threats and who was intimidated.” the Frenchman continued.

“It has been said that we have become a nation of small ice sports and this is the worst thing I’ve ever heard.” he concluded.

Didier Gailhaguet welcomed the decision of Peizerat and called it “great news”. However, the current French skating boss still has not decided whether he will participate in the upcoming elections. “I need a time to think about it.” he commented to Tout Le Ski.

Gailhaguet was one of central figures in the 2002 Olympic figure skating scandal, in which French judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne said that she had judged wrongly in the pairs competition under pressure from Gailhaguet.

Gailhaguet’s chauffeur in Salt Lake City additionally testified to having overheard evidence of his involvement on the scandal. Le Gougne later rescinded her statement and said she had been pressured to make it.

Didier Gailhaguet was excluded for any International Skating Union event for 3 years, beginning 30 April 2002, and has been excluded as an ISU council member. He resigned as president of the French Ice Sports Federation on 12 May 2004, but was re-elected to that position in December 2007.

Earlier in his career, Gailhaguet was the coach of French skater Surya Bonaly.


WFS - An independent online sports magazine