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Report: One in three sportswomen suffers sexual harassment

A new report suggests 16-year-olds competing in adult sports are at the greatest risk of harassment. 

A fresh report from the Finnish Centre for Integrity in Sports (FINCIS) suggests that every third women in elite sport has experienced sexual harassment in sporting circles.

One in five men answering the FINCIS survey had been harassed.

At the greatest risk of suffering harassment were 16-year-old women who were part of adult competitions at the national team level.

Researchers used a survey to gather answers from 9,018 elite athletes on their experiences, with 7,433 of those competing on the national or regional level and 683 competing at the international level.

The greatest number of responses came from Finnish baseball and ice hockey players, with a total of 48 sports represented in the survey.

More than one in three of the harassment cases involved a fellow athlete, with one in five another athlete's coach and just under a fifth resulting from contact with the crowd, fans or social media followers.

Those aged 20-25 had more experience of harassment, with men responsible for 55 percent of the harassment reported by women and 67 percent of the harassment reported by men.

The most common form of harassment was verbal, usually in the form of sexual, hurtful jokes, inappropriate comments about an athlete's body or jokes about a sexual minority.

Four percent of the women who answered the survey and one percent of the men who answered said that the sexual abuse had been physical.

Rape or attempted rape was reported by 14 athletes, while 70 athletes said they'd been pressured into having sex.

Some 59 percent of respondents said they did not know whether their sport's national association had intervened to stop harassment or done any work to prevent it.