Less than a month ago, former Soviet gymnast and 1992 Olympic all around champion Tatiana Gutsu joined viral hashtag MeToo speaking out about her own experience with sexual abuse.

The four time Olympic medalist accused legendary Soviet gymnast Vitaly Scherbo of raping her back in 1991 where they were both taking part in an international competition.

Gutsu took part in Pryamoy Efir show, which according to Gymnovosti blog is a tabloid talk show, detailing her alleged rape by Scherbo.

The blog translated the gymnast's horrifically detailed description of the incident.

This man took away my feelings, he took away my voice, he took away my joy.

I was a child. I was a child. In 1991, I only turned 15 years old at the World Championships*.

We finished the competition. My coach told me that I competed great even though I was a bit upset with my performance, I lost the first place. But ok, second place was also nice. That night, when we were already in the hotel, Vitaly Scherbo came to our room with champagne. I don’t know how much I drank and I don’t know how much I smoked** because I was smoking and I was coughing.

When I came to [long pause, barely holding tears] it was very dark. It was scarily dark. My hands were held like this [puts hands together as if bound] with such strong force. I was lying on my stomach, my face was slammed into the pillow like this. I don’t know for how long he’s been doing it to me, but when I came to and he realized that I’m conscious, he pressed his hand to my mouth like this [presses her hand to her mouth], so that I wouldn’t be able to say anything. I gathered all my strength, everything I had, to get away, but I couldn’t, I couldn’t, I was trying. I couldn’t even scream.

I couldn’t get away, I was trying, I was trying to get away. I came to because everything [in my body] was burning, and because I was hurting and because I was scared and I couldn’t understand what was happening to me. [cries]

When he finished what he was doing he only whispered one word “Nikomu”***. I was lying on my bed, I was just waiting for the door closing shut so that he wouldn’t be there.

I ran to the toilet. While I was running I peed myself, I peed myself because of fear, because of pain. I wasn’t wearing clothes, I was only wearing a top, a t-shirt, I was in socks and a top. I felt sick all night and all morning.

The next morning, we had to go to another city. And while we were on the bus, I was hearing his laughter, his disgusting laughter, his disgusting voice. Everything irritated me, absolutely everything. I was lying in the back of the bus, I was sick all day long. I was throwing up. I was throwing up because I was hurt, because I was afraid to tell my coach that I was abused, because I was alone. Somehow I felt that I was alone, that I couldn’t tell anyone, share my pain, because suddenly… I had everything [before], I used to laugh, I used to smile, and suddenly I had nothing at all.

We arrived in another city, we checked in the hotel and I went to bed. I covered myself with a blanket because I was afraid that he would come [to my room] again and something would happen, I just covered myself with a blanket and cried, cried, cried from pain, cried because I was molested.

The scariest thing was that all the competitions we went in 1992 – he was there.

In the MeToo post, Gutsu blamed then teammates Tatiana Toropova and Rustam Sharipov for not standing up for her and failing to protect her. Sharipov denied knowing anything about the alleged incident while Toropova said it never took place.

During the show, Tatiana suggested that Rustam might have left the room early that night thus not knowing of what happened to her. However, she insisted that Toropova was in the room and saw how broken Gutsu was afterwards.

Giving her the benefit of the doubt, she said that Toropova might have been too intoxicated to remember the details as they both consumed alcohol at that time.

Tatiana said that she confronted Vitaly of what he did in 2012 expecting an apology instead she was told that no one would believe her and she should f*** off.

Written by Gigi Farid



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