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Kevin Staut denies claims of physical abuse after being reported to the FEI for breach of Safeguarding Policy Against Harassment and Abuse

Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Kevin Staut. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping



On February 7, Norwegian rider Marie Valdar Longem (30) filed a report to the FEI under the Safeguarding Policy Against Harassment and Abuse in the FEI General Regulations Appendix I – claiming that 2016 French team Olympic champion and former world no. one Kevin Staut (42) physically abused her during an argument. The alleged abuse has also been reported to the French police, by Valdar Longem’s lawyer Antonin Lévy.  

Staut contests Valdar Longem’s claims, accusing her of attacking and injuring him – causing him severe pain – and has followed up by also filing a report to the FEI. 

“I can confirm that both parties have filed an incident form and the FEI is investigating the alleged incidents in accordance with the FEI’s Safeguarding Policy Against Harassment and Abuse,” a FEI spokesperson commented to World of Showjumping. “As per standard practice in safeguarding cases, we will not comment any further on the matter at this stage in order to ensure the integrity of the process. Regarding the applicable procedures, they are set out in the FEI Safeguarding Policy against Harassment and Abuse.” 

“The French Equestrian Federation (FFE) was informed of an Incident Report Form filed with the FEI concerning Kevin Staut and Marie Valdar Longem. The FFE, like the FEI, has been informed that a complaint has been filed by each of the parties,” the French Equestrian Federation commented to World of Showjumping. “The FEI has launched an investigation into this matter in accordance with its rules and procedures. The FFE has informed its Ethics and Professional Conduct Committee, who will summon the rider in the coming days.”

On February 19, the French sports publication L’Equipe decided to break the news of Valdar Longem’s claims against Staut – also revealing the French rider’s counterclaims of having been “violently verbally and physically assaulted in a private context” by Valdar Longem.

It was in the night between February 2 and 3, during Jumping International de Bordeaux 2023, that the two riders – who at the time were dating – had an argument in their hotel room. According to Valdar Longem, the argument turned physical after she took Staut’s phone into her possession. In an attempt to get his phone back, Valdar Longem claims Staut held her and hit his head to hers – which left her with a concussion and bleeding from the nose. The concussion has been documented by a medical certificate. Valdar Longem claims Staut then left her alone in the room, and that he has not been in contact with her since. 

“The complainant’s statements are formerly contested by Kevin Staut,” commented Carole Guillemin, Staut’s lawyer, to World of Showjumping. “Kevin Staut was attacked by surprise on the night of 2-3 February and injured. He tried to protect himself. He left his hotel room to avoid the situation getting out of hand in the hope that Ms. Longem would calm down. He received quick care the next day on the Bordeaux competition – to be able to participate in its events. When he returned from the Bordeaux CSI and faced with the persistence of severe pain, he consulted a doctor, who observed several lesions and ordered an MRI whose conclusions confirmed the violence of the assault. An investigation is ongoing – the outcome of which is to be awaited, before reaching any premature or conclusive conclusions. Kevin Staut condemns and has always condemned all forms of violence.” 

On behalf of his client, Valdar Longem’s lawyer Antonin Lévy contested Staut’s claim that he has been a victim of violence – stating: “Marie has been affected both personally and as an athlete by these unspeakable acts of violence. Learning that her aggressor is now claiming to be a victim defies understanding. She is pressing charges because she is the only victim here and wants to make sure that similar incidents will not happen to other people in the future. Her actions through FEI are important to safeguard that the sport is a safe arena to herself and other women for the future. She relies on FEI to also conduct a thorough investigation of the matters.” 

Considering the serious nature of the claims brought forward against Staut, who in 2017 was appointed president of the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC), World of Showjumping also reached out to IJRC Director Eleonora Ottaviani. "The situation is delicate and serious,” Ottaviani said. “Once all investigations have been completed and the sentence enforced we aim to find the necessary measures commensurate with fact.”

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