Paris (AFP)

French skaters Morgan Ciprès and Vanessa James, crowned European champions in 2019 and world bronze medalists in 2018 in pairs, have decided to end their careers, announces the French Ice Sports Federation (FFSG) in a press release Tuesday.

"After a sabbatical year, for personal and sporting reasons, the couple finally decided to hang up the skates", writes the FFSG.

Ciprès (29) and James (33) have not skated in competition since the end of winter 2019.

The duo initially wanted to breathe in the 2019/2020 season to extend their career until 2022. Then Ciprès was caught last December by revelations in the American press, according to which he was targeted by an administrative investigation in the United States for sending obscene photos to a thirteen-year-old skater in late 2017.

According to the American daily USA Today, their coaches John Zimmerman and Silvia Fontana, with whom Ciprès and James have worked in Florida since 2016, are also under investigation for having pressured the teenager to keep the silence.

Appeared before the disciplinary commission of the FFSG at the beginning of July in this case, Ciprès was released, on the ground in particular that he "was not brought (to his) knowledge (...) neither complaint of the alleged victim nor element of such as to establish the existence of criminal proceedings "and that" there is no objective element (photographs, messages, letter, etc.) in the file capable of establishing proof of the alleged offense ".

The FFSG had indicated in the wake that it would not appeal this decision.

On the sports field, the two skaters, partners since 2010, have long been subscribed to places of honor.

Then they changed dimension after deciding in mid-2016 to go to train under the leadership of Zimmerman (world bronze medalist in pairs in 2002) and Fontana in Florida.

Six months later, they reached their first international podium with a European bronze medal in Ostrava (Czech Republic) in January 2017.

A year later, they climbed on the third step at the post-Olympic Worlds-2018 in Milan (Italy).

It was in 2018/2019, finally their last winter, that they achieved their most prestigious success, with a victory in the Grand Prix final in December and the European title in pairs the following month, a first for a French duo. for almost 90 years (1932 to be precise).

Since they had chosen to spare themselves last season, James and Ciprès no longer lived on the same continent.

She, who remained in America, notably participated in a Canadian reality show featuring skaters and hockey players at the end of 2019. He, back in Europe, occupied his time by training in Paris in particular.

They will therefore not go until 2022, where they hoped to shine at the Winter Olympics in Beijing and at the Worlds in France, in Montpellier.

© 2020 AFP