A head has just fallen in Italian gymnastics. The national federation announced in a press release that the technical director of the national rhythmic gymnastics team, Emanuela Maccarani (photo above), had been suspended from her functions. She is the subject of an investigation opened last year after several ex-gymnasts reported pressure and humiliation linked to their diet and weight. Emanuela Maccarani, 56, is stepping down from her role as national technical director while the investigation is carried out. Her interim role will be taken over by the president of the federation. But, surprisingly, she will continue to coach the team “until the sports court makes its decision”. The investigation is being carried out by the Italian federation and the prosecutors of the city of Monza. It also concerns the assistant to the National Technical Director, Olga Tisha. The procedure started after the revelations in the daily newspaper La Repubblica, last October and November, of three former members of the national rhythmic gymnastics team. Nina Corradini, aged 19, Anna Basta, aged 21, and Giulia Galtarossa, aged 31, told of having been subjected to insults and moral harassment by the team’s management. Since the beginning of the affair, Emanuela Maccarani has denied the facts. This week she assured Corriere Della Sera that she had never exerted any psychological pressure on the athletes. According to her, the accusations were motivated by the frustration and bitterness of the gymnasts after their non-selection to the Olympic team.
— Published 13 January 2023