CSD: Four athletes denounce coach Pedro Mir for mistreatment at police and judicial headquarters | Society

Three former gymnasts from the club of artistic gymnastics, Pedro Mir. There they have reported, as this newspaper has been able to confirm, being victims and witnesses of humiliation, situations of physical and psychological abuse, abuse of power and attacks on their health for being forced to compete and train injured when they were, for the most part, minors. age. This is a collective complaint to which other people are likely to join. In total, the testimonies against coach Pedro Mir rise to 27.

Previously, in January 2022, four doctors and five physiotherapists had reported the situation to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Sports of the Balearic Government, exposing examples of mistreatment and abuse of power. Three workers in the socio-educational field who promoted an abuse detection program in the CTEIB itself in 2020-21 had reported the same thing in three different reports. The three also verbally conveyed their concern about “structural and systemic violence” to the center’s management. The Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation in May 2022 and closed it in October of the same year, considering that the events were not classified as a crime; urged the Ministry to study administrative sanctions included in the Balearic Islands sports law 14/2006.

Mir has denied all the accusations (27 testimonies, including complaints from four former athletes) and has hired lawyer Jaime Campaner, who has assured that he will not make any further statements. “We are not aware of any complaint or complaint, nor that there are ongoing investigations. Pedro is calm; If a complaint has really been made and a prosecutor or a judge considers that he has to open an investigation, we will defend ourselves. The rest is speculation and we are not going to go into it.” The coach continues to lead the CTEIB gymnastics program and 10 days ago he traveled with the Spanish Gymnastics Federation (RFEG) to Cottbus, Germany, for a World Cup event. For now, the center manager claims to have transferred the “matter” to legal services.

18 gymnasts – who sign without identifying themselves as “eighteen former gymnasts who want things to change” – have approached the RFEG to demand an exhaustive investigation. They have done so through a two-page letter (also sent to the Higher Sports Council, the Balearic Federation, the Balearic Sports Foundation, the corresponding department and the president of the Balearic Government) in which they recount the “behaviors abusive” of which they have been “victims and witnesses” over the years (at least since 2006) in the CTEIB gymnastics room and that, they write, go against “the ethical and sporting principles that should govern our discipline”. And this is how they state it: “Due to the alleged lack of evidence, the authorities have not been able to take appropriate measures and the case has been archived. However, our determination to do justice and protect young gymnasts from future harm prompts us to file this complaint once again, now with the National Police.”

They describe what the physical and psychological abuse and abuse of power that they have seen and suffered consisted of. They stated that they felt “coerced” by Pedro Mir, “under the threat of being excluded from the team or suffering reprisals.” They insist, in that letter, that these abusive practices are “especially worrying” when it comes to environments that involve minors (gymnastics begins at six or seven years old, the ages at which the majority of them entered in the Xelska). And so they conclude: “We request an intervention and exhaustive investigation by the RFEG.” Likewise, they say, they trust that the “necessary actions will be taken to guarantee the safety and well-being of all gymnasts.”

This newspaper called Jesús Carballo, federation president, several times to ask him what measures he plans to take. He received no response. From the press department they report that “everything received on this matter is transferred to the independent commission in charge of these issues.” In the Balearic Federation they assure that they have forwarded the letter to the president (Laura Ramos), but that there were no signatures or DNI that identify the gymnasts. Ramos did not respond to the email or the call from this newspaper. Sources from the Higher Sports Council claim to have received the letter and are following up on the issue. “Last week we already contacted the Spanish Federation to convey our concern about the abuses reported by the former gymnasts. They have told us that they have activated a commission to gather information; “We have asked them for a report.” At the moment, they have not received it. And they clarify: “Pedro Mir does not have any type of contractual relationship with the CSD and has not received any direct help from us.”

Eladi Huertas, manager of the Fundació del Esport Balear (the legal name of the CTEIB), has assured that the center “is seeing with the legal services what can be done.” Asked if the protocols include any code of conduct that contemplates precautionary removal of the technician if it is decided to open an investigation, she answers: “It is a case that was investigated and archived at the time.” When it is pointed out that since 2022 there have been new testimonies and four complaints, she responds: “That is what we are looking at.” The general director of Sports of the Balearic Government, Joan Toni Ramonell, says the same. “We have evidence of an anonymous letter and the case is in the hands of the legal services, they are the ones who have to tell us if we have to act and how to do it.” The CTEIB depends on the Balearic Government, which also finances and subsidizes its different technology programs.

A former gymnast: “Panic was common”

Meanwhile, two more people (a former gymnast and a mother) have contacted this newspaper after the publication of the third report on February 29, to corroborate the story of the other victims and recount the “manipulation” and the “ abuse” that they claim to have suffered. The first testimony is from a former gymnast of

Pedro Mir Homar, on February 7, during the presentation of the Iberdrola Artistic Gymnastics League at Palma City Hall.Palma City Council

Now an adult, this former gymnast says that she witnessed the coach hitting the minors. “I saw how she hit a colleague, she slammed her against a bookshelf in a downtown office from whose glass you can see everything. She closed the door and, even so, the screams with which he scolded her could be heard. And she adds: “Panic was common, as was the fear of answering. We didn’t even say anything to our parents for fear of ‘what will Pedro say if he finds out that we’ve told it’. Leaving him was not an option, they wouldn’t let you.” She also reports having suffered anxiety attacks. “I developed an anxiety disorder derived from the stress that she experienced every day at the gym, she had anxiety attacks when I woke up because she didn’t want to go to train…” She says that she talked about it with her mother and, due to her concern, the two met with Mir. “He told her that what was happening to me was a lack of commitment to the team and that I was lazy, but that if I woke up in time I could go far… Shortly after, he separated me from the group, and those who he considered not very committed. She told us that he wasn’t going to waste his time with us. I never talked about it with them, we were 14-year-old girls. I thought: ‘Maybe it’s true, I’m lazy and that’s why I don’t want to train. To this day I continue to think that I had been lazy.”

He claims that he realized that what he had experienced was abuse when reading the published reports. “Since I didn’t know how to identify what had happened to me, I didn’t know how to verbalize it either. “I was not aware until I read the testimonies published in recent weeks.” When she couldn’t take it anymore, she says, she reunited with his mother and Mir. “I told her that I couldn’t continue, that I couldn’t take it anymore, and she started blackmailing me: ‘You’re leaving me hanging like a dog.’ She confirms what other colleagues reported. “We trained in pain, sick and even injured, if you complained they scolded you because that meant you didn’t feel like working. I have seen mistreatment of my teammates, I have heard the screams, I have found them crying in the locker room, I have seen how they were embarrassed in front of the entire gym. Everything was normalized because that was “high performance training.”

The mother of a former gymnast tells similar situations. She says she spoke to her son after reading the other victims’ accounts in this newspaper. “I asked for forgiveness, but he told me that the one who had to do it was Pedro Mir. I didn’t know how to see what was happening, I saw what was happening with other boys and girls, but I thought not with him. I don’t forgive myself. When he came and told me that they forced him to do things he didn’t want, he thought it was rebellion. She looked at him with a scared face, but she didn’t understand what was happening. First they make you feel guilty, saying that it is a sport that you have to be able to endure… The manipulation, furthermore, was such that they confused my son’s sensitivity with a mental illness and made me believe that he had one.”

If you know of any case of abuse in Spanish sport that has not seen the light, you can write to: [email protected]

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