Male, Female Judo Stars Accuse Each Other of Assault

French Gold medalist Margaux Pinot posts image of her bruised face
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2021 4:45 PM CST
Male, Female Judo Stars Accuse Each Other of Assault
In this 2019 file photo, Margaux Pinot of France is seen at right at the World Judo Championships in Tokyo. She won a bronze at the competition. From left, silver medalist Barbara Timo of Portugal, gold medalist Marie Eve Gahie of France, bronze medalists Sally Conway of Britain and Pinot.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

A nasty dispute in the world of judo has emerged in France, where a female star and a male star are accusing each other of physical assault in a domestic dispute. Olympic gold medalist Margaux Pinot, 27, alleges that partner Alain Schmitt—a 38-year-old coach and former world-class competitor—assaulted her while drunk over the weekend, reports the BBC. Pinot posted an image of her bruised face, alleging that Schmitt not only punched her but choked her before she fled to neighbors. "What was missing? My death at the end, perhaps?" she wrote. Schmitt was arrested and jailed, but he was acquitted Wednesday during a court hearing by a judge who said there was "not enough proof of guilt."

Schmitt called the allegations "rubbish" in court and said he only defended himself when Pinot assaulted him. He described a violent struggle between the pair. Later, Schmitt held a news conference in which he had a black eye. "I can't take any more of these calumnies," he said, per AFP, adding that he was getting death threats. "I had a very bad experience of this time spent in the cell, these three nights without being able to sleep." Pinot, in one of her tweets on the altercation, wrote that she suffered a broken nose. "It was probably judo that saved me," she said. "And my thoughts are also with those women who can't say the same." (Read more France stories.)

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