Former CNOSF secretary general Didier Séminet has hit back at President Brigitte Henriques following his sacking ©Didier Séminet

Former French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF) secretary general Didier Séminet has launched a scathing attack on President Brigitte Henriques’ leadership, claiming she has caused the "crisis" at the organisation herself.

Séminet has alleged he feels "betrayed" by Henriques and believes his sacking has "damaged" the work of the CNOSF with less than two years to go until the start of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. 

He has also criticised the process to put four officials in temporary charge of the organisation while Henriques is on sick leave, claiming it has contributed to an "alarming situation of poor governance" at the CNOSF.

A dispute with Henriques resulted in Séminet being axed as secretary general of the CNOSF last month.

An absolute majority of 45 CNOSF members voted to dismiss Séminet during an extraordinary meeting of the Board of Directors.

Henriques has since filed a complaint for "psychological violence" against the Frenchman.

Séminet told insidethegames that he "clearly and simply refute these accusations" and claims he has been a victim of "misinformation campaigns which are intended to discredit my action".

"I feel defamed, attacked without even being able to defend myself," said Séminet."

CNOSF President Brigitte Henriques has delegated her responsibilities to four officials after opting to take sick leave ©Getty Images
CNOSF President Brigitte Henriques has delegated her responsibilities to four officials after opting to take sick leave ©Getty Images

Henriques has recently lifted the lid on her feud with Séminet, claiming his conduct was "inappropriate in the way a secretary general can behave with a President".

Séminet said he was "very surprised" by her remarks, although he admitted that they had different visions for the management of the CNOSF.

"I am extremely shocked, disappointed and sad at the same time," said Séminet when asked about his reaction to his departure.

"Both in substance and in form, I am disgusted.

"Not only of no longer being able to exercise the functions for which I was elected, but to have been betrayed in this way by the President whose campaign, and finally of her complaint which for me represents the worst.

"It is the triple penalty.

"I am sad for French sport, for those who fought to bring the Games back to France and who see all their work being damaged by this situation."

Séminet has also dismissed Henriques’ claims that he applied for the role of President of the World Baseball Softball Confederation without notifying her beforehand, insisting he warned her in November last year.

"Since the beginning, our visions have been different concerning, in particular, the management, the management of human resources, the lack of dialogue and transparency on management," said Séminet.

"The departure of certain executive was unjustified.

"I sincerely think, with hindsight, that it is my role as secretary general that poses a problem in this organisation.

"In the vision indicated by the President several times, she wanted to entrust me with missions that do not correspond to the usual missions of the secretary general of the CNOSF for years and did not want the position of the secretary general as defined by the IOC."

Didier Séminet has claimed that the work to bring the 2024 Olympics back to Paris has been
Didier Séminet has claimed that the work to bring the 2024 Olympics back to Paris has been "damaged" by the governance crisis at the CNOSF ©Getty Images

Henriques has taken sick leave following the dispute with Séminet, admitting it will take her "some time to recharge the batteries", meaning she is missing the Association of National Olympic Committees General Assembly taking place here tomorrow and Thursday (October 20). 

She has vowed to remain as CNOSF President.

The former vice-president of the French Football Federation has entrusted CNOSF vice-presidents Jean-Pierre Siutat and Sébastien Poirier, treasurer Michel Caillot and newly-appointed secretary general Astrid Guyart with carrying out her duties while she is away.

Guyart has stepped up from her position as deputy secretary general to replace Séminet - a move which has been welcomed by French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra.

Séminet has criticised the decision to give Siutat, Poirier, Caillot and Guyart the temporary reins.

"Today I am replaced by the deputy secretary general, a position that does not appear in the CNOSF statutes, but also by three other members of the Bureau, appointed by themselves,” he said. 

"It's not very democratic, it's not good governance.

"This is why 50 members of CNOSF Member Federations met last Thursday, and the discussions were constructive.

"We have discussed all these subjects, and are closely following the sequence of events.

"The current crisis of the CNOSF was caused by the President herself, because she finds it difficult to bear that we do not agree with her, that we do not go in her direction so she walks away.

"This was the case for employees, and now it is the elected officials. 

"But this is the game of democracy.

"The CNOSF must unite, the President is increasingly divided.

"My urgent replacement, the complaint... all of this masks an alarming situation of poor governance."

insidethegames has contacted the CNOSF for comment.