Judo: Clarisse Agbégnénou says she is "outraged by the lack of respect" of the Federation

A kimono business that is gaining momentum

Judo: Clarisse Agbégnénou says she is "outraged by the lack of respect" of the Federation

A kimono business that is gaining momentum. Judoka Clarisse Agbégnénou said on Saturday she was "outraged by the lack of respect" for her from the French Judo Federation after a dispute over the kimono the judoka wore when she returned to competition on Friday.

"I'm really overwhelmed by the situation. I am outraged at the lack of respect accorded to me,” she told AFP. "I am an athlete, I want to defend my titles, return to competition, show that anything is possible. And what stops me is my own federation. This is very serious. »

Clarisse Agbégnénou, who was returning to Grand Slam after her maternity leave, appeared on the tatami with a kimono from her personal sponsor, the Mizuno brand, while the French Judo Federation signed a partnership with Adidas.

The double Olympic champion justified her choice by explaining that she had not fought with an Adidas kimono for more than five years and that she therefore preferred to compete with a kimono that she knew. Adidas took over from Mizuno as the Federation's equipment supplier in 2021, just before the 30-year-old judoka went on maternity leave.

"They could have said to me, 'Listen, Clarisse, it's complicated, it's not our supplier. We know you don't know the kimono so we can pass it to you to try it on and that way you can see if you can fight with it.” (But) they didn't give me any solution," she said.

To sanction Agbégnénou's choice to wear a personal kimono, the Federation had decided to deprive her of her federal coach for the competition. "Telling me the night before that I'm going to be without a coach because of my kimono is childish. I find it really unfortunate and I think they could have been more adult, ”she said.

"They could have said to themselves, 'it's just a competition, it's not the World Championships, it's not the Olympics, it's her comeback, we leave her,'" she said. for follow-up. "Put on the kimono of another equipment manufacturer, it puts us at odds, I find that it is not to respect the French team", said Friday to AFP the president of the Federation, Stéphane Nomis.

"What I told him is that we sit down, we write an agreement, we make you a proposal, you come back to us and we do it properly, calmly. That was my speech a week ago, not the day before. We didn't take her hostage," he added, denouncing the "aggressiveness" of the judoka's entourage.