Dutch sports union to launch major investigation into sexual abuse in sports

Sports federation NOC*NSF wants to launch a major investigation into sexual abuse in the sports world that will focus on the past 30 years, the Volkskrant reported on Friday. The aim is to find out whether there are abuse victims in the Netherlands that never came forward.

"It is important for sports to be familiar with its own history", NOC*NSF CEO Gerard Dielessen said to the Volkskrant. According to him, sexual abuse victims carry a massive burden. He believes this investigation can support abused athletes who want to come forward with their story.

If the funding can be raised, the investigation can be launched in 2017, according to Dielessen. 

The reason for this investigation is a sexual abuse scandal in England. In November a number of football players came forward with the statement that they were sexually abused by trainer Barry Bennel of the club Crewe Alexandra for years. On Wednesday former cyclist and world champion Petra de Bruin also stated that she was sexually abused for years during her career.

Minister Edith Schippers of Sports supports the investigation, saying that it is good that the federation is actively addressing the issue. "It is important that this is investigated properly, that people can report easily and that proper help is available", she said.