HONG KONG, December 2, 2017 – Hong Kong hurdler Vera Lui Lai-yiu joined the global “#MeToo” movement after claiming she was sexually assaulted by a coach 10 years ago. Hong Kong Sports Press Association responded to her revelation and condemned the suspect’s violation of the basic integrity and ethical principles of a trainer, with the full support of the global association, AIPS.
The athlete shared a #MeToo post on Facebook, following in the footsteps of other public figures who have come forward, including US gymnast McKayla Maroney. The movement became an online rallying cry last month following a series of allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Hong Kong hurdling champion Vera Lui Lai-yiu became the first Hong Kong sports figure to join the global “Me Too” movement after claiming she was sexually assaulted by a coach 10 years ago. Soon after midnight on her 23rd birthday, the athlete published a post on her Facebook page describing the incident, along with a photo of her holding a card on which “#MeToo” was written in support of a growing hashtag campaign against sexual harassment.
According to her post, Lui met the coach through extracurricular activities and was taken to his home on a Saturday because he said he would like to massage her muscles. Lui said the coach asked her to lie prone on a bed and suggested she take off her jeans after he pressed the back of her thighs a few times. The coach went on with his “massage”. He took off her underwear and touched her private parts, she wrote.
The hurdler said she had been reluctant to share her experience until US gymnast and gold medalist McKayla Maroney last month disclosed online that she had been sexually abused by her team doctor. Lui said she was coming forward for three reasons: to increase public awareness of sexual assault against children; to encourage victims to bravely speak up; and to let the public understand that sex was not an embarrassing, shameful or taboo subject.
The Hong Kong Sports Press Association (HKSPA) shared their announcement and condemned the suspect’s violation of the basic integrity and ethical principles of a trainer. HKSPA, together with the support of AIPS also urges the government, and all sports associations to take action to protect the athletes from sexual harassment or assaults and provide them a good training environment.
The HKSPA statement is below:
Hong Kong Sports Press Association’s response to Lui Lai-yiu’s announcement
In response to our local athlete Ms. Lui Lai Yiu's revelation of being sexually assaulted by her ex-coach 10 years ago, Hong Kong Sports Press Association (HKSPA) would like to express our deeply regret over the incident.
As a close partner with all Hong Kong athletes, HKSPA condemned the suspect’s violation of the basic integrity and ethical principles of a trainer.
HKSPA will fully support our athletes and urge the government, all sports associations to take action to protect our athletes from sexual harassment or assaults and provide them a good training environment.
Hong Kong Sports Press Association