St. Louis Olympian Alleges Past Sexual Assault
UNDATED (AP) - A second former speedskater has come forward with allegations against Andy Gabel, telling The Associated Press she was raped at age 15 by the one-time leader of the U.S. short track program, then manipulated into an illicit three-year relationship that ended at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.
Nikki Meyer was known by her maiden name of Nikki Ziegelmeyer when she won short track relay medals for the U.S. at the Albertville and Lillehammer Games. She delivered the most recent accusations against Gabel, a medalist himself who competed in four Olympics, was a former president of U.S. Speedskating and, until last week, held a prominent position at the International Skating Union.
“He wasn’t a hero. He wasn’t the god of speedskating,” Meyer, now 37, told the AP in an hour-long telephone interview from her hometown in suburban St. Louis. “He’s a child molester. He’s a rapist. He’s a sexual abuser. He’s a pedophile. By no means should anybody think he is anything more than that.”
Gabel, now 48, issued a statement to the AP acknowledging he made mistakes during his skating career, but strongly denied forcing himself on anyone.
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