Court rejects sailing federation’s lawsuit
Published on November 3rd, 2022
(November 3, 2022) – A Court of First Instance in Athens sided with Olympic sailing gold medalist Nikos Kaklamanakis today in a lawsuit filed against him by the Hellenic Sailing Federation (HSF) for defamation.
Kaklamanakis, 53, has accused HSF of corruption and mismanagement in remarks he made to the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Educational Affairs in November 2019, where he was invited along with other Olympic athletes to comment on a bill on sports violence and match fixing. In 2020, HSF filed a lawsuit seeking 100,000 euros.
The court ruled “there was no evidence” that Kaklamanakis wanted to defame HSF, nor did his comments cause any harm, but instead his intention was “to defend the federation’s institutional role” in promoting sailing by tackling the numerous ills that have plagued HSF for years. It also ordered it to pay the athlete’s legal costs of 2,000 euros.
Apart from allegations of mismanagement, a top HSF official was also implicated in a sexual assault case, leading Deputy Minister of Sports Lefteris Avgenakis to suspend all funding to the federation and order an audit of its board members’ assets in January 2021.
The allegation came by Olympic sailing champion Sofia Bekatorou who spoke about the sexual assault she suffered by a senior federation official when she was 21.
Kaklamanakis won the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games in the Mistral category and silver in Athens’ Olympics in 2004. He is also a three-time world champion and two-time world silver medalist.