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French runner Gressier in sexual harassment probe

French long-distance runner Jimmy Gressier is under investigation for sexual harassment over an October complaint, a source familiar with the case said Tuesday.

The existence of the probe into a complaint from the director of France’s National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance (INSEP) on behalf of an athlete was already public, but the identity of the suspect had been unknown.

Tuesday’s source, who asked not to be named, confirmed a report from sports daily L’Equipe that the probe targeted Gressier.

The 26-year-old holds the European record for running the 5 km (3.1 miles) distance on the road and was European U23 champion twice.

Gressier’s lawyer Antoine Maisonneuve said his client “denies the allegations” and would make no further comment.

He “has already had to explain himself before sporting bodies,” Maisonneuve said.

The October report of sexual harassment from INSEP followed a parliamentary inquiry into failings at France’s sporting federations.

Athlete Claire Palou had told lawmakers in September about sexual harassment she said she suffered at INSEP, located in the Vincennes park east of Paris.

She alleged that her training partner Gressier had subjected her to inappropriate comments or behaviour following an earlier consensual relationship, L’Equipe reported.

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