2,500 cases reported of sexually exploitative photos of athletes

Kyodo -- Oct 17
Around 2,500 cases of nonconsensual sexualized images objectifying athletes being taken or shared have been reported to a website set up by the Japanese Olympic Committee last November, Kyodo News learned Saturday.

The figure stood at around 1,300 in early July but has nearly doubled in the past three months through Friday, with the increase believed to be a result of increased awareness of the issue due to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and a series of arrests.

The issue first surfaced in August 2020 when former national team athletes complained to the Japan Association of Athletics Federations of having photographs of a sexual nature taken of them while they competed.

It is almost a year since seven bodies including the JOC released a joint statement pledging to eradicate such abuse, condemning the taking of images and distributing them as "despicable acts."

During the Tokyo Games, the German women's gymnastics team wore body-covering unitards instead of the customary bikini-cut leotards in a move that the German Gymnastics Federation said was a stand against sexualization.