Greek sailing federation sues former Olympic gold medallist

Athens—Former Olympic windsurfing champion Nikos Kaklamanakis is being sued by the Greek sailing federation for 100,000 euros ($112,000) over comments he made against the organisation, the Athens News Agency (ANA) reported on Tuesday.

Kaklamanakis, 51, won the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games in the Mistral category, and silver in Athens eight years later where he lit the Olympic torch in the opening ceremony, as well as winning three gold and two world championship silver medals.

“In the 32 years of continuous administration of the federation, we have not sent an out-of-court settlement or lawsuit against anyone,” the federation was quoted as saying by the ANA.

“However against the former athlete and current coach we had to for what he had said in the Greek Parliament last November in which he had spoken about the squandering of public money by the federation,” it added.

The federation said the money won from the lawsuit would be given to handicapped sailing athletes as well as to local sailing clubs.

“Since he did not respond to the out-of-court settlement, the federation was required to file a lawsuit, for if we did not, it would be as if we accepted the accusations of the former athlete and current coach,” the federation said.

Sports minister Lefteris Avgenakis, in a Twitter post, described the action by the federation as “sad, outside the boundaries of sportsmanship and values” and added “every Olympian is not only a ‘role model’ for his medals, but also for the courage of his opinion.”

Kaklamanakis has not so far commented on the lawsuit.

Topics: Nikos Kaklamanakis. Greek sailing federation. sue. Lefteris Avgenakis
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