- Andy Gabel, Olympic silver medalist in 1994, is now accused of having sex with two 15-year-olds during the 1990s
- Nikki Ziegelmeyer claims her sexual contact with Gabel was non-consensual
- Bridie Farrell, also a speedskater, said she knew from the beginning that the relationship was inappropriate
- Gabel also served as president of U.S. Speedskating
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 19:20 EST, 8 March 2013 | UPDATED: 01:45 EST, 9 March 2013
A second former U.S. speedskater is now accusing Olympic medalist and former U.S. Speedskating president Andy Gabel of sexual abuse saying he raped her when she was 15.
Nikki Meyer, known as Nikki Ziegelmeyer when skating short track for the U.S. in the 1992 and `94 Olympics, today joins former speedskater Bridie Farrell's claims of sexual abuse by the then president while aged 15.
Both women say Gabel, a four-time Olympian who won a silver medal in Lillehammer, aggressively approached them in the 90s while training for the Olympics.
In Meyer’s case it led to non-consensual sex, she told the Associated Press on Friday.
Accusers: Former short track speedskater Nikki Ziegelmeyer, seen left in 1994, and Bridie Farrell have accused Olympic medalist and former U.S. Speedskating president Andy Gabel of sexual contact when 15
Resigned: Andy Gabel has resigned from his positions with the U.S. speedskating committee and offered a public apology after the first allegations of sexual abuse arose
Meyer, who retired from skating after injuring herself in 1997, won a relay silver medal at the Albertville Games and a bronze in the same Lillehammer event as Gabel.
On Monday Gabel stepped down from his speedskating position and his leadership role with the International Skating Union after Farrell's shocking accusations last week.
Farrell said Gabel was 33 at the time of their sexual relationship. She was just 15.
Responding to her accusations Gabel issued an apology in a public statement saying he ‘displayed poor judgment in a brief and inappropriate relationship with a female teammate,’ according to the The Saratogian newspaper in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Gabel did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.
Farrell told public radio station WUWM in Milwaukee that she had sexual contact with Gabel repeatedly over several months in 1997 and 1998 while both were training in New York and Michigan.
Abuse? Bridie Farrell, seen last week, said that she had sexual contact with Gabel repeatedly over several months in 1997 and 1998 while both were training in New York and Michigan
Farrell recently returned to speedskating after a six-year absence and is making a long-shot bid for a spot on the U.S. team that will compete at the Sochi Games next year. She failed in three previous bids to qualify for the Olympics.
The national governing body had said that it was not previously aware of any allegations against Gabel until Meyer's on Friday.
'Our current understanding is that it was not reported to anyone at U.S. Speedskating or the authorities at that time,' the organization said in a statement.
'We intend to look into this matter immediately to determine what action should be taken.'
Farrell's lawyer, Jon Little, said the abuse began when Farrell and Gabel were training at the same club in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
According to Little, Gabel began paying a lot of attention to Farrell. He would let her drive his car, for instance, and he also sharpened her skates.
'She's star struck,' Little said, describing her state of mind at the time.
Regret: 'I wish I had said something the day that it happened,' Farrell said. 'And if that person didn't believe me, that I told somebody else, and somebody else, until someone listened'
There was no immediate comment from the ISU. But International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said, 'Clearly, any allegations of such a serious nature need to be fully investigated.'
In any event, they represent another setback to a powerhouse U.S. Olympic sport, coming after a sexual abuse scandal in swimming.
Dozens of coaches have been accused of abusing underage swimmers, including a former national team director, prompting USA Swimming to adopt a 'safe sport' program and go public with a list of everyone who has received a lifetime ban from the organization.
Farrell's allegations are somewhat different in that the abuse allegedly began while she and Gabel were both still competing.
But Little said it follows much the same pattern of what happened in swimming: a mentorlike figure taking advantage of a young athlete.
The statute of limitations for a lawsuit has expired, Little said, so there are no plans to pursue legal action.
Champion: Andy Gabel (center) is a four-time, short track speedskating U.S. Olympian and holds a silver medal as a member of the 1994 5000 meter Short Track relay team
He said Farrell decided to come
forward because she wants to change the culture of Olympic sports in the
U.S., something he described as a 'good old boys network.'
'They see their coaches sleeping with girls,' Little said. 'When they become a coach. ... (they) get access to sexual relationships with young, fit teenage girls – and it's just part of the culture. Everybody thinks that's OK.'
In her interview with WUWM, Farrell said she knew from the beginning that her relationship with Gabel was inappropriate.
'I knew that because he made it be a secret,' she said. 'But I will say that the 15-year-old thought it was exciting.'
Farrell said she didn't tell anyone what had happened for years.
'The first five to seven years after it happened, I was scared,' she told the radio station. 'I was petrified, because I was young and in speedskating, and I was knocking on the door to the junior national team, then the senior national team, and I didn't want to do anything to jeopardize that.
Hopes: Farrell (circled) recently returned to speedskating after a six-year absence and is making a long-shot bid for a spot on the U.S. team that will compete at the 2014 Games. She failed in three previous bids to qualify for the Olympics
Connected: Andy Gabel (center) demonstrates the ticket-buying process for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City as Organizing Committee president Mitt Romney (right) looks on
'Then,' she added, 'there was a period of my life when I didn't say anything because I realized I was hurt, and I was broken.
'And it took a long time and a lot of work and some pretty dark times to come to grips with it and put myself together.'
'I wanted to be close and real with friends in skating, but there was this big secret and there was this big part I wasn't disclosing,' she said. 'And in order for me to be honest and truly be friends with these people, I needed to be able to say, "This is a huge thing I'm battling."'
Farrell said her biggest regret is waiting so long to come forward.
'I wish I had said something the day that it happened,' she said. 'And if that person didn't believe me, that I told somebody else, and somebody else, until someone listened.'
Thanks to Pat A Robinson Photos
Tagged : No tags for this article
Town council approves law making firearm ownership MANDATORY in Georgia townA small American town may soon pass a law requiring every household to own a gun. The city council of Nelson, Georgia unanimously approved the proposal at a meeting this week. While lawmakers in Washington may soon restrict owning a gun, this town would make it a crime not to. A signal to the government: Nelson town council in Georgia...
Duchess of Cambridge: Moment Kate Middleton nearly gave the game awayThe Duchess was caught on camera saying: 'Oh is this for our d...'She stopped herself mid-sentence as she was handed a gift Kate questioned by crowd on whether she was going to say daughterShe smiled and wagged her finger and said they did not know Made the apparent slip-up during walkabout in Grimsby yesterday William Hill has suspended betting on...
Former Pc admits selling secrets to the Sun newspaper about the arrest of John Terry's mother for shopliftingAlan Tierney sold information about arrest of John Terry's mother SueTierney also sold information about arrest of Rolling Stone Ronnie WoodPrison officer Richard Trunkfield admitted leaking high profile inmate detailsTierney and Trunkfield were arrested under Operation Elveden By Helen Lawson PUBLISHED: 07:29 EST, 8 March 2013 | UPDATED: 11:22 EST, 8 March 2013 Alan Tierney, pictured arriving at the Old Bailey this morning, pleaded...
Life in chains: Heartrending pictures of caged Indonesian monkeys being sold to coconut farmersPig-tailed Macaques sold for few dollars to be used for picking coconuts Monkeys appear distressed as they are pulled from cages by tradersProvide vital income for farmers but concerns raised over treatment By Sam Adams PUBLISHED: 12:33 EST, 8 March 2013 | UPDATED: 12:35 EST, 8 March 2013 It is not just human slaves who face a life in chains.These pig-tailed Macaques are...
Papal conclave to start on TUESDAY as cardinals prepare to elect Benedict XVI's successorCardinals will begin the conclave on Tuesday in the Sistine ChapelThey will attend a special mass at St Peter's Basilica in the morningWorkers were pictured installing stoves for the smoke signal By Hannah Roberts, Nick Pisa and Olivia Williams PUBLISHED: 12:19 EST, 8 March 2013 | UPDATED: 12:32 EST, 8 March 2013 Cardinals will begin their conclave to elect the new leader of the Catholic...
David Cameron to snub Vince Cable's call for more borrowingPlans to use speech in West Yorkshire to say policy is 'beginning to work'Prime Minister will say the challenges facing the economy are 'huge' He will say that employment levels are rising across the country Vince Cable said Government's plan to cut capital spending is a mistake By James Chapman and Jason Groves PUBLISHED: 19:12 EST, 6 March 2013 | UPDATED: 12:30 EST, 8...
Apprentice winner Stella English 'went running to teacher after spotting error over £1.4million bill'Series 6 winner is suing Lord Sugar for constructive dismissalFormer boss and Apprentice interviewer Bordan Tkachuk gave evidencePair fell out after she told Lord Sugar £1.4m had not been invoiced'To come out and say there is missing money, that is ridiculous', he said By Martin Robinson PUBLISHED: 08:59 EST, 8 March 2013 | UPDATED: 12:26 EST, 8 March 2013 Apprentice winner Stella English was...
'Petty' Sparrows boss bans staff from putting company milk on their cerealStern memo warned anyone flouting the rules would be 'dealt with' Trade union slams the ban as 'petty' The company provides 100 pints a day for the 450-strong workforce but rules it is 'only for tea and coffee' By Alex Ward PUBLISHED: 08:07 EST, 8 March 2013 | UPDATED: 12:22 EST, 8 March 2013 Engineering firm bosses have banned employees from pouring company milk...
Terror as massive gas explosion rips through Syrian refugee campBlack smoke rising over the Zaatari camp in Jordanian city of MafraqAuthorities said the blaze did not result in any death or injuriesEstimates suggest some 7,000 refugees are fleeing Syria every day By Leon Watson PUBLISHED: 12:19 EST, 8 March 2013 | UPDATED: 12:19 EST, 8 March 2013 A gas explosion has ripped through a crowded Syrian refugee camp in Jordan today.The fire sent black...
Headlines Newsview all
Following the to and fro between the pair, a new tattoo has surfaced which gives a new dimension to what really may have panned out ... Full story
Personnel of the American Forensic Team, contracted by the Government of Ghana to help unravel the mystery surrounding the recent strings of fires at the ... Full story
A group of weed-smoking mums who meet for lavish cannabis-infused lunches say taking marijuana makes them better parents. Mother-of-two Cheryl Shuman, 53, hosts the get-togethers which ... Full story
A ‘violent’ nursing assistant put a sheet over a dementia patient’s head and told her she was ‘the dead one’ during a campaign of abuse, ... Full story
Mr Efiok Cobham, the Cross River State deputy governor startled his household recently when he commanded his wife, Glory to kneel down and apologize to ... Full story
Selorm (Selly) Ghalley, one of Ghana’s representatives in the ongoing Big Brother Africa (The Chase) reality show can breathe a sigh of relief as she ... Full story
The Eastern Regional Police Command arrested 14 illegal Chinese miners at Akyem Adasewase in the Atiwa District on Wednesday. They are workers of Mazoro Mining Company ... Full story
South African officials are investigating claims ex-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his family stashed $1bn (£600m) in assets in the country. Libya has reportedly called for ... Full story