Tennis News Wire -
Nathalie Tauziat has dramatically been asked to stand down from the French Federation de Tennis’ (FFT) management committee after the 45 year-old former world no.3 testified in favor of her former coach Regis de Camaret who was found guilty of raping two young players aged 12 and 13 years of age.
Tauziat, a Wimbledon finalist in 1998 appeared before the court in Lyon and maintained she did not believe those who accused 70 year-old de Camaret who was subsequently found guilty and sentenced to eight years in prison.
Gilbert Ysern, the FFT director general and without doubt the most powerful man in French tennis, maintained: "Nathalie Tauziat's statement at the trial was deeply disturbing. On Monday we will ask her to resign from the management committee."
Tauziat was adamant she saw no evidence of the charges against de Camaret and went so far as to insist she did not believe his accusers, especially her former doubles partner Isabelle Demongeot.
The allegations center around the tennis academy, run by de Camaret in the fashionable Mediterranean resort of St. Tropez in 1970s and ‘80s. In total, 20 of his former pupils have accused him of rape, attempted rape or fondling between 1977 and 1989.
‘A lack of evidence’ was cited as the reason the original case against De Camaret was dropped in 2009 and the statute of limitations had run out on all but two of the accusers. Stephanie Carrouget and Karine Pomares, both now aged 36, persevered.
In his defense, de Camaret denied the charges but admitted that the atmosphere at his academy “encouraged promiscuity,” has been banned from working in tennis for life. In addition de Camaret’s lawyer claimed the case was a complex conspiracy theory hatched by Demongeot, bitter at her rival Tauziat’s success.
However a delighted Demongeot was quoted by AFP after the conclusion of the trial. “Tonight he is in prison, he is the victim now,” she said. “It was a long battle, and you can see we have been affected beside it.”