Today Gailhuguet was ordered to participate in a meeting with the Sports Minister, Roxana Maracineanu (former swimmer, world medalist and olympic silver medalist). He was apparently asked to resign and given 2 weeks to do so. https://apnews.com/8ddd551c610f501d16dcee8f7980779f
Appearing on TV the Minister said:
There has also been an on-line petition in circulation for several days asking for the same thing - it has received thousands of signatures including former skaters and officials, as well as fans.the number of events, and the span of time over which they occurred, point to general dysfunction inside the federation [...] Didier Gailhaguet cannot abdicate his moral and personal responsibility; I have therefore asked him to resign
Long-time fans remember his involvement in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics "situation" and the limited punishment/retribution he subsequently received.
The situation in France is very complicated with respect to the federation and the direct authority of the Sports Minister. If Gailhuguet does not resign, it has been said that it may require the "nuclear option" to take away his authority.
As I understand it:
- The federation is a private, independant entity. The government doesn't have the power to remove him if he does not resign.
- Only the Conseil Fédéral of the FFSG was the power to remove him, if he does not resign, but only by a 2/3 majority of votes from the 31 members. Because of the membership of the council, as he has set it up, this might be complicated/difficult. If they were to remove him there would have to be a new general assembly with the election of a new president.
- The government has a massively convincing tool in the form of the "agrément ministériel" or "delégation" ("certification"/"approval"). Having this "agrément" allows the federation to actually use the name "french federation of ...", use the names "french championships", "french champion", "team France", "regional championships", "national championships", "international championships" and to hold competitions with those names. Plus it gives the federation a mission of public interest to develop the sport toward high level and mass sport. This comes with subsidies.
- The Sports Ministry gives this "agrément" to one federation per sport / group of sports. It may also take it away.
- Taking away the "agrément" from the FFSG would be considered launching the "nuclear option"
- If Gailhuguet doesn't resign and isn't removed by the Conseil and the "agrément" or "delégation" is removed, the Sports Ministry could ask the French Olympic Committee (CNOSF) to organize figure skating national and international competitions, fund and select the athletes for a (short) period of time, waiting for the problem to be resolved.
A very complicated, serious, and unfortunate situation but many are grateful that these issues and the individuals involved are now being put under the bright investigative light of the government and the media after many years of nothing happening.