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Wednesday, September 30, 2020
James' Partner Ciprès Retires Following Sexual Abuse Allegations

Olympic figure skater Morgan Ciprès has retired following allegations he sent lewd pictures to a 13-year-old girl.

The French Federation of Ice Sports (FFSG) announced that the 29-year-old Ciprès and his pairs partner Vanessa James were leaving figure skating with just 18 months to go until the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Ciprès is currently under investigation from the US Center for SafeSport for allegedly sending two lewd photos to a 13-year-old American female figure skater in December 2017.

News of the allegation emerged in December 2019, with the girl and her parents also claiming that Ciprès' coaches, John Zimmerman, a Salt Lake City 2002 Olympian and member of the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame, and Italian former Olympian Silvia Fontana, tried to keep the family from reporting the alleged incident to authorities by threatening them.

Ciprès, Zimmerman, and Fontana all deny the allegations.

The allegations are part of wider claims of sexual abuse within French figure skating, with Didier Gailhaguet resigning as President of the FFSG in February as a result.

It came after former international figure skater Sarah Abitbol alleged in a book that she had been abused multiple times from 1990 to 1992 by former coach Gilles Beyer.

Alongside James, Ciprès earned a European pairs title in Minsk in 2019 and they were the 2018 Grand Prix Final champions.

They also claimed a world bronze medal in 2018 and a European bronze medal in 2017.

The pair represented France at the Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
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