“My coach raped me more than 400 times in two years”the former French tennis player said yesterday Angélique Cauchy36 years old, in reference to Andrew Gueddes, 55, who was sentenced in 2021 to 18 years in prison for different allegations of rape of minors between 12 and 17 years old. The player’s statements were made before a special commission of the French Parliament that has begun to investigate hundreds of more cases perpetrated, condoned and naturalized by tennis actors and authorities in that country.
Cauchy spoke yesterday before the National Assembly (AN), the first chamber of Parliament, within the framework of an investigation that seeks to provoke a deep crisis in a rotten system in which girls and adolescents were raped, attacked and destroyed during the eighties before the passivity of the national tennis hierarchies.
According to the Spanish media ABCthe case was perceived as an “isolated behavior” but yesterday Cauchy provided details that the directors of the Sarcelles club and many directors of the French Tennis Federation also knew about the abuses, but pretended not to know anything.
Although Geddes had been reported on many occasions for rape, Cauchy decided to report his case last spring. He said that when he was between 12 and 14 years old, when he was ranked number two in the junior tennis rankings, he suffered abuse from his coach, with the knowledge of the authorities.
“My coach, Andrew Gueddes, raped me more than 400 times in two years. He started by verbally attacking me. I tried to defend myself and asked him to stop, repeating, day after day: ‘Don’t touch me, that’s not right. I do not want’. Cynically, the coach would respond: ‘Don’t worry, this happens very often between coaches and young girls,’” he said.
“I became little more than a slave, a sleepwalker. When we trained, in La Baule (Northern France), our rooms were ten meters away. She started by getting into my bed. Then she got him to go to her room. I lived a nightmare that ruined my career. I thought about suicide several times. Mocking me, she even told me that I had AIDS. And I lived for ten or fifteen years thinking that I could have AIDS,” Cauchy denounced.
The National Assembly discovered that a woman who worked in the administration of the president of the club in which Cauchy played, told the story to its president, and received this response: “Well… maybe that has happened and will happen. But, in this case, the coach brings us titles.”
The Investigation Commission will make public the results of its work in December, so Emmanuel Macron’s government will be the one that must take action after Parliament concludes.