Helsinki Police Department on Monday confirmed it has opened an investigation into a sexual harassment complaint filed by Finnish athletes in connection with the European University Games (EUG) held in Coimbra, Portugal, between 15 and 28 July.
The complaint implicates a group of male athletes and an elderly coach from one participating country.
“We will interview the injured parties and be in contact with the authorities in Portugal. We will not comment on the types of offences or other details at this stage of the investigation,” says Juhani Vuorisalo, a detective superintendent at Helsinki Police Department.
The European University Sports Association (EUSA), the organiser of the European University Games, on Saturday sent a message to all its member organisations condemning the manner in which the allegations were made public by the Finnish Student Sports Association (OLL), according to Helsingin Sanomat.
“They still stressed that there’s no evidence and that it’s therefore impossible to condemn anyone. They continue insisting that it’s word against word,” Elina Havu, the secretary general at OLL, told Helsingin Sanomat on Monday.
“They simply don’t understand why we want to keep talking about the case,” she added.
OLL has also expressed its bewilderment with the public remarks of Manuel Machado, the Mayor of Coimbra. Machado claimed to a local newspaper last week that the allegations are retribution for the decision to grant this year’s games to Coimbra instead of Tampere, Finland.
“The accusation is not only absurd, but it also insults the athletes. It highlights how the organisers dealt with the case,” an OLL spokesperson responded to the report on Twitter on 1 August.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Teemu Salonen – Lehtikuva