The public prosecutor of Montargis (Loiret), Loïc Abrial, announced it on Friday August 5. Marion Sicot’s sexual harassment complaint against her former manager, the Belgian Marc Bracke, has been dismissed.
“This is a dismissal for insufficiently characterized offense. There is no intention of sexual harassment on the part of Marc Bracke”, he told AFP. At the origin of this complaint, photos in underwear that the Belgian manager of the Doltcini-Van Eyck sport team asked the runner to control her weight. “There may have been a misunderstanding related to a limited command of English [de la part de Marc Bracke]“said the magistrate.
The complaint is related to a doping case. Tested positive for EPO on June 27, 2019, Marion Sicot had proclaimed her innocence for eight months. However, on March 8, 2020, in “Stade 2”, the Orleans woman admitted having injected herself with EPO three days before a race, ensuring that she wanted to achieve a performance that would allow her to regain the confidence of her manager. She claimed she was let go from her team in the spring of 2019 after she stopped sending Marc Bracke pictures of herself in her underwear. She detailed her version of events in a book titled Harassed, doped but back!.
In January 2021, the French runner was suspended for two years by the sanctions commission of the French Agency for the Fight against Doping (AFLD). This independent commission upheld sexual harassment to alleviate the suspension. For his part, thehe Disciplinary Commission of the International Cycling Union (UCI) took the decision, in June 2021, to suspend the former manager for three years for acts of sexual harassment, without having heard him.
The runner wanted to resume competition in 2022, as she told franceinfo: sport in March 2021. But in March 2022, after an appeal made by the AFLD, the Council of State judged that there were no mitigating circumstances, and decided to bring the suspension of the cyclist to four years. Marion Sicot will have to wait until March 2024 to take over the handlebars.
The 30-year-old sportswoman will again face justice, but this time as an accused. The Belgian manager has indeed filed a complaint against her for defamation. The hearing is scheduled for September 14 before the Montargis court.