Ira Vigdorchik will continue in her role as the coach of the Israel rhythmic gymnastics national team, but will no longer personally guide the squad, an Israel Gymnastics Association committee determined on Monday.
The committee, headed by Judge Nili Arad, was set up on Friday to look into the conduct of Vigdorchik and the allegations that she kicked one of the squad’s gymnasts, Ekaterina Levina, during training last weekend ahead of the World Cup event in Kazan, Russia.
Vigdorchik denied the accusations, but a letter sent to the IGA by the gymnasts’ parents claimed that the incident was only the tip of the iceberg. According to the letter, Vigdorchik repeatedly abused the gymnasts, both verbally and physically, and drinks alcohol during training and competitions.
However, the IGA’s committee decided that Vigdorchik will continue to be in charge of the team’s preparations for the Rio Olympics, while coaches Ela Samofalov, Raya Irgo and choreographer Ayelet Zysman will be the ones who physically coach the gymnasts in the gym.
The national team is considered to be one of Israel’s main candidates to win a medal in Rio.
The team of Yuval Filo, Alona Koshevatskiy, Ekaterina Levina, Karina Lykhvar and Ida Mayrin won gold, silver and bronze medals at last month’s European Championships in Holon.
Israel also won three medals at the European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan last summer, taking two silvers and a bronze.
Medals will only be awarded in the all-around event in Rio.
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