Photograph: Janine Keat

October 30, 2017 A roller-skating coach is suspected of having sexually abused children in central Yazd Province.

Mohammad Rezaei, the head of Iran’s Skating Federation said the General Directorate of the Ministry of Sport and Youth had alerted the federation to the incident. “As far as we know, this individual wasn’t a certified coach and didn’t have an official ID card,” he said. “He had, nevertheless, managed to give classes and teach roller skating to children eight years and younger.”

The preliminary investigation has shown that the man in question is not from Yazd. “He reportedly sold sporting goods before starting to teach roller skating,” Rezaei said. He added: “We’ve discovered that he is a con artist who swindled money out of a number of families living near the Yazd-Shiraz highway.”

“We consider it our duty to bring this man to justice,” Rezaie said. “We’ll file a complaint with the Judiciary, since he passed himself off as a roller skating coach. He cheated people out of money and reportedly committed unspeakable acts while coaching children. These kinds of behavior are unacceptable. We are accountable to the public. We won’t rest until we’ve brought him to justice.”

“This man occasionally pretended to be the head coach of the Iranian national skating team. We will not be lenient. We will file charges against him. We’d like to see him prosecuted to the full extent of law. Police and other law enforcement agencies should arrest him as a matter of urgency. He is currently a fugitive on the run.”

Sexual abuse of children and even rape is alarmingly widespread in Iranian athletic clubs, football academies and swimming pools.