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Israel Judo Association revokes job offer to French coach held for domestic violence

Olympian Margaux Pinot says she was beaten and strangled by her partner, Alain Schmitt, who was arrested and later released after a court hearing

Alain Schmitt, from France, celebrates his victory over Uuganbaatar Otgonbaatar, from Mongolia, after their men's - 81 kg fight at the World Judo Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013. Schmitt won the bronze. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Alain Schmitt, from France, celebrates his victory over Uuganbaatar Otgonbaatar, from Mongolia, after their men's - 81 kg fight at the World Judo Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013. Schmitt won the bronze. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

The Israel Judo Association cut off all contact with French judo coach Alain Schmitt — days before he was slated to begin a new job in Israel — after he was arrested following accusations of domestic violence.

A spokesman for the Association told AFP that the organization is no longer pursuing its hire of Schmitt. “We have suspended all contact with him,” said its spokesman, Gil Levanony.

Schmitt was arrested over the weekend on allegations of assaulting his girlfriend, fellow French judoka Margaux Pinot. He was released on Tuesday following a court hearing citing lack of evidence. The prosecution said on Wednesday that it would be appealing the court’s decision.

The former judoka was arrested just hours before he was slated to leave for Israel and take over as head coach of the Israeli national women’s judoka team.

The Israeli Judo Association announced his hire last month, with president Moshe Ponti calling him an “excellent coach who will contribute to the national team.”

Pinot, an Olympic athlete, posted an image of her battered face on social media on Wednesday, railing against the court’s decision to release him and alleging that he punched her, strangled her and smashed her head against the floor, breaking her nose, before she managed to escape.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Margaux PINOT (@margaux.pinot)

“What is their slanderous defense worth against my wounds, and against the blood strewn on the floor of my apartment?” she wrote. “What was missing? Death at the end, perhaps?”

Figures in the French judo world also came out in support of Pinot and criticized the decision by the court to release Schmitt.

French judoka Clarisse Agbégnénou said she was “shocked” by the court decision.

“I do not have the words to express everything that is going on in my head and my body as a woman in the face of what my teammate Margaux Pinot has suffered,” tweeted Agbégnénou.

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