X

Fiona Ferro Says Her Former Tennis Coach Pierre Bouteyre Raped Her

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 4, 2022

Tnani Badreddine/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Professional tennis player Fiona Ferro said she was raped by former coach Pierre Bouteyre.

According to Agence France-Presse (via ESPN.com's Aishwarya Kumar), Bouteyre has been charged with rape and sexual assault. Ferro said the alleged assaults occurred between 2012 and 2015, when Bouteyre worked as her private coach and she was a teenager.

Ferro said in a statement on social media Friday she has "full confidence in the justice system of my country and confirm that I do not wish to make any other statement on the criminal investigation," according to the Associated Press:

Fiona Ferro @fioferro

<a href="https://t.co/Vnb1S9cRKS">pic.twitter.com/Vnb1S9cRKS</a>

Bouteyre's lawyer responded to the allegations by telling AFP his client "recognizes the relationship occurred but denies any coercion."

French Tennis Federation president Gilles Moretton said the organization is supporting Ferro (via Kumar):

"We would like to express our support for Fiona Ferro, while respecting the presumption of innocence, at a time that we know is particularly difficult for her. The FFT's sports integrity unit is currently assisting her and we will do everything we can to help her rebuild her life."

The WTA also told the AP they "applaud Fiona for having the courage to come forward with these allegations":

"We are pleased to see a full investigation and legal process being pursued. The WTA is dedicated to ensuring a safe environment across our tour. Safeguarding requires vigilance, and we are continuing to invest in education, training, and resources to improve our efforts."

Victoria Azarenka is a member of the WTA Players' Council, a group of select players that advocates on behalf of their peers. Azarenka addressed Ferro's allegations Saturday and said it's part of a wider concern for the council:

Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 @christophclarey

In light of Fiona Ferro's accusations of rape and sexual assault against her former coach in France, this is indeed more urgent than ever<br><br>This from Victoria Azarenka today: <a href="https://t.co/TCLBmzDZkR">pic.twitter.com/TCLBmzDZkR</a>

Ferro is the No. 259 player in the world, having reached a career high of 39th in March 2021. The 25-year-old is 8-14 in singles action this season and most recently competed in qualifying for the 2022 U.S. Open.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.