French judo Olympic gold medallist Margaux Pinot has shared horrifying pictures of her bruised and bloodied face just hours after her partner and martial arts coach was acquitted of domestic violence by courts.
The 27-year-old Olympic champion reported her partner Alain Schmitt for allegedly attempting to strangle her and punching her over the weekend.
When arrested, he denied the allegations and was later acquitted in court, where the judge said there was not enough 'proof of guilt' whilst delivering his verdict on Wednesday.
He said: 'A court is never there to tell who is telling the truth and who is lying.'
Stéphane Nomis, who is the president of the French Judo Federation, and female French judo star Clarisse Agbégnénou both expressed shock over the court's decision.
Agbégnénou tweeted: 'I do not have the words to express everything that is going on in my head and my body as a woman in the face of what my teammate Margaux Pinot has gone through. All the more shocked by the court's decision. What does it take for the sanctions to fall, death?'
Members of the French Judo community expressed their support, including three-time Olympic champion Teddy Riner, who tweeted: 'We are all deeply touched by what our teammate Margaux Pinot has just suffered and we give her our full support. What must be done to ensure that victims are heard? That the attackers be convicted?'
The BBC reported that shortly after the hearing, however, Pinot shared a picture of her battered face on Twitter.
Margaux Pinot claimed that her partner and trainer Alain Schmitt had insulted, strangled and punched her and shared this photo on her Twitter account
Alain Schmitt was gold medallist Olympic judo Margaux Pinot's trainer and partner
She tweeted: 'During the night from Saturday to Sunday, I was the victim of an assault at my home by my companion and trainer. I was insulted, punched, my head was hit on the ground several times. And finally strangled.'
She said she took refuge with her neighbours after escaping Schmitt's alleged outburst, who then called the police.
She continued: 'I have several injuries including a broken nose and 10 days of Temporary Interruption from Work. Today justice has decided to release him.'
'What is their slanderous defense worth against my wounds, and the blood strewn on the floor of my apartment? What was missing? Death at the end, perhaps? It was probably judo that saved me.And my thoughts are also with those who cannot say the same.'
Schmitt, 38, has rejected all the allegations as '100% false' and claimed it was Pinot who started the fight, with French media reporting there were visible bruises on his face.
'I have never hit a woman in my life, it's rubbish,' he told the court.
His lawyer, Malik Behloul, disputed Pinot's version of events, telling the court: 'With the strength that this man [Mr Schmitt] has, he is quite capable of doing a great deal more harm than that.'
Schmitt was detained hours before he was supposed to take over the Israeli national women's Judo team, however, the Israel Judo Association has now said it has cut ties with him.