Omega Pharma-Quick Step sports director Brian Holm has admitted that he has been charged with having sex with a child aged under 12.
The 51-year-old decided to come forward after several news outlets in Denmark reported yesterday that a famous sporting figure from the country had been charged with the offence, without giving a name, according to Ekstra Bladet.
The age of consent in Denmark is 15 years, with anyone convicted of having sex with a child below that age liable to a jail term of up to eight years, increasing to 12 years where the victim is aged under 12.
The penalties apply to both penetrative sex and to sexual relationships other than intercourse, under Denmark’s penal code.
Charges were brought on Friday by a court in Frederiksberg, a separate municipality surrounded by the capital, Copenhagen, which granted a request from the defence counsel that his client’s identity be withheld.
However, Holm has since decided to go public and broke the news that he is the defendant in the case at a press conference at Café Grock in Frederiksberg, where he sits on the town council as a conservative.
Described as being emotional throughout the press conference, he said: “I’m standing up here now. I won’t play hide and seek, I won’t disappear for months.
“It's a shitty situation, but I feel better already now by talking about it,” he went on.
He added that rumours of his involvement had already affected his family.
“My daughter came home yesterday from school and said that the children had said that her father was a criminal,” he said.
Holm refused to go into details of the case and did not answer questions regarding his guilt or innocence.
He did acknowledge though that by going public, he was making himself a target.
Ekstra Bladet says that there are aspects of the case that suggest that police are proceeding with caution; Holm, for example, has not been arrested, as would be normal in such a serious case, nor has a preliminary hearing been held.
Holm was a member of the Telekom team that helped fellow Dane Bjarne Riis win the 1996 Tour de France, and in 2002 he admitted he had doped during his career.
He rejoined Telekom in 2003 as sports director, and it was there he would develop a particularly close relationship with Mark Cavendish, who joined the outfit, now called T-Mobile, in 2007, acting as a mentor to the Manxman.
The pair remained there once it evolved into Team Colombia after being bought by Bob Stapleton, and went separate ways when it folded at the end of 2011.
Cavendish and Holm were reunited at Omega Pharma-Quick Step when the sprinter moved there from Team Sky at the start of 2013.
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Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.