Prosecutors from Budapest’s Districts 14 and 16 have opened an investigation into Hungarian Paralympic Committee president Zsolt Gömöri for alleged embezzlement and fraud.
Bettina Bagoly, a spokesperson for the Budapest prosecutor’s office, told Hungary’s state-run media on Tuesday that information provided to date offers sufficient grounds to believe that a crime may have been committed and the only way to determine whether this is the case is for an investigation to take place.
News broke in May that Gömöri had received HUF 3 million in “support” from the organization to help him pay off his mortgage. Soon after, stories began surfacing about abuse of power and other unlawful activities allegedly taking place within the higher ranks of the organization. One colleague publicly accused Gömöri of paying himself commissions after donations received from domestic and foreign donors to which he was not entitled.
Previously, Fidesz MEP Tamás Deutsch, who serves as vice-president, publicly acknowledged recommending that HUF 3 million in Hungarian Paralympic Committee funds be given to Gömöri so that he could pay off his foreign currency mortgage loan.
On May 21 a number of paralympians came together and filed a joint complaint against Gömöri with Hungarian investigators. Prior to filing the complaint, the athletes submitted an 8-point petition to the sporting organization calling for, among other things, his resignation, and the disbanding of the organization’s presidium and supervisory board. The athletes gathered more than five hundred signatures on the petition.
Last Thursday Minister Overseeing the Office of the Prime Minister János Lázár said it would best if Gömöri resigned from the presidency of the Hungarian Paralympic Committee because his actions have resulted in trouble for the organization.
Zsolt Borkai, president of the Hungarian Olympic Committee, has said Gömöri “isn’t capable of effectively representing and providing genuine representation” of the organization and its athletes.
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