A storm has engulfed current president of the Polish Tennis Federation MirosÅaw SkrzypczyÅski in recent weeks. Last October, the Onet portal opened an investigation into the alleged abuses and violence carried out by Skrzypczynski, including against underage tennis players, when he worked as a coach at the Energetyk Gryfino Club in the 1990s.
The man pleaded innocent and expressly asked the newspaper that he carried out the investigation to publish the names and surnames of the sources that fueled the story. A new verbal complaint was made by Katarzyna Kotula, a member of the Polish Parliament.
The woman, like a former tennis player who preferred not to reveal her identity, said she had suffered violence and abuse on more than one occasion: "He attacked me at least a dozen times over the span of three years. I was a little girl, I was 13.
She was a predator." The two leading exponents of Polish tennis, the number one in the WTA ranking Iga Swiatek and Hubert Hurkacz, decided to take a stand and came out into the open.
Swiatek and Hurkacz against the president of the Polish federation
Iga Swiatek said about the issue: "As the leader of women's tennis, I cannot remain silent.
I appreciate the freedom to decide whether or not I want to talk about a certain topic. I have always decided based on my sensitivity, knowledge, my limits and the strength I have to support people who suffer. This is why I know that when it comes to physical violence or emotional abuse, it is more important to think and be sensitive towards the victims.
When we talk about something wrong, we have to think about them first. I am trying to do it in the best way. I am against violence in sport, tennis, in every discipline and in everyday life. This is why I consider the articles on the president of the Polish Tennis Federation a serious matter.
The governing bodies of tennis should determine what happened, and I hope they address this story after the confessions published in the media. Carrying out the work of government bodies and journalists is not my role, as the matter is too serious and affects people's lives and health.
What I feel I can do is encourage you to seek help when something bad happens in the sports communities and in any situation in life where there is a possibility that someone may be physically abused or emotionally abused.
If someone is suffering from it, the most important thing is to take care of yourself and seek support. This is one thing I can do and this is how I can use my influence. Personally, I have been lucky and have not faced such hard experiences.
I am privileged and have a fantastic team, but I know that not all athletes can enjoy the same independence. I hope that through the exposition of these stories, and the careful resolution of the events, sport can change for the better in Poland."
Hurkacz's message was: "I support all women and all victims of abuse.
No coach or guardian should use their power and position towards anyone. Any aggression, whether in sport or outside of it, must be condemned and punished. I hope that the competent authorities react to the press reports on the affair involving the president of the Polish Federation.