“The boy even pissed himself.” Ukrainian coach caught abusing children

Oleg Stepko’s passage under the flag of Russia five years ago made a lot of noise. His compatriots reacted especially sharply to the gymnast’s decision, especially since he changed his sports citizenship for the second time. First, the athlete moved from Ukraine to Azerbaijan, seeing the best conditions for performances there, and then moved to Russia at the end of his career.

However, the athlete failed to make the national team and soon disappeared from the radar … to return unexpectedly with another sensational scandal.

Working with children was strictly contraindicated for the Ukrainian specialist.

One athlete – three teams

Oleg Stepko was born in Zaporozhye and started his professional sports career under the flag of Ukraine. At the junior level, the athlete, who trained with the famous Pavel Netreba, showed crazy potential. Having become one of the strongest gymnasts in the country in his age category, in 2010 he went to the Youth Olympic Games, where he won four medals for the country at once – two gold and two silver.

The transition from junior to senior level went pretty smoothly for Stepko. Already at the age of 19, the Ukrainian became the European champion in Moscow, taking first place in the uneven bars, after which he successfully performed at the Kazan Universiade in the same year: there he helped the national team win silver in the team championship.

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However, in 2014, Oleg’s career took an unexpected turn. At this time, Netreba received an offer from Azerbaijan to lead the country’s national gymnastics team – the coach agreed, and the star student soon followed. At home, they tried to dissuade Stepko from a hasty decision, but in Baku they offered a solid fee for the athlete, so in the end the federation gave the go-ahead for the move.

The goal of the Ukrainian as part of the new national team was the Olympics, but in Rio the athlete showed a weak result. Shortly after the Games in Brazil, Netreba was fired from the national team and another naturalized Ukrainian, Pyotr Pakhniuk, returned to his homeland with him. Oleg took some time to think and finally made an out of the ordinary decision. Stepko announced … moving to Russia. Of course, the gymnast immediately began to be severely criticized, but her negativity did not affect her position in any way.

“He grabbed the kid by the neck, scared”

Stepko failed to return to the top tier after receiving Russian citizenship. The gymnast flashed at the competitions in Siberia, but getting into the national team was out of the question. As a result, Oleg gradually curtailed his career as an athlete and decided to try himself as a coach, settling in Novosibirsk: here he was hired by the Evgeny Podgorny Training Center of Artistic Gymnastics.

The Ukrainian for some time calmly worked with Russian children his name has not appeared in the press for a long time. However, in 2022 they started talking about Stepko again and far from so much glory he dreamed in a foreign land. The scandal around the young specialist erupted after several students complained about his coaching methods. Their outraged parents removed the recordings from the sports center’s surveillance cameras and their children’s horrific testimony was confirmed.

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It’s no secret that gymnastics the sport is pretty tough, but Stepko has clearly gone too far. There were many episodes of assaults: once, according to the accounts of one of the boys, Oleg “treated the boy so much that he even peed himself.” The story was confirmed by another employee of the center:

I said, “You must be wrong in your head. Go to the doctor.” He grabbed the child by the neck, scared … I was in shock. If I had been ready, I would have grabbed him myself and stopped him. But we have a children’s institution. You can’t even forcefully raise your voice to a small child. And then it was updated, quotes the words of the specialist “KP”.

The Ukrainian coach later, at a meeting with his parents, then admitted that he was wrong, explaining his behavior by considerations of discipline, but this did not satisfy the adults: as a result, they achieved the dismissal of the unfortunate teacher. True, after some time the specialist was nevertheless reinstated in his position. He is listed in the teaching staff of the Stepko Center even now.


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