Sex Abuse Allegations Rock US Speedskating
A former U.S. speedskater, Birdie Farrell, has accused Andy Gabel, a four-time U.S. Olympian and silver medalist in the sport, of sexually abusing her in the 1990s when Gabel was 33 and Farrell was 15.
Farrell told a radio station in Wisconsin last week "she had sexual contact with Gabel repeatedly over several months in 1997 and 1998 while both were training in New York and Michigan." Both were athletes at the time, and this was not a coach-player relationship.
Gabel "competed in short track and won a silver medal in the relay at Lillehammer in 1994. He also served a term as president of U.S. Speedskating and is currently chairman of the short track committee for the International Skating Union."
Farrell said she was going public with the information in light of other incidents, mostly involving coaches "abusing underage swimmers," that have come to light.
Farrell said she was "star-struck" at the time and even thought her relationship was "exciting" even though she knew it was wrong because Gable, she claims, told her to keep it a secret.