A former coach of Brazil’s national gymnastics team has been accused by dozens of athletes of sexual abuse in the latest child molestation scandal to rock the sport.
Fernando de Carvalho Lopes allegedly watched children shower, touched them indecently and asked them to perform sexual acts, according to at least 40 of his victims, reports Xinhua news agency.
The gymnasts and former gymnasts revealed the accusations to the Fantastico news programme on TV Globo. Lopes has denied the allegations.
The Sao Paulo state security department confirmed police were investigating but declined to provide details for judicial reasons.
The Clube MESC community centre near Sao Paulo said it fired Lopes after the programme went on air on Sunday night. The former coach has not had contact with children since being placed on leave two years ago when accusations were first made, it said.
Earlier this year, former US sports doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting scores of girls and women, including Olympic gymnasts, while he worked at US Gymnastics and Michigan State University.