A personal trainer has been banned by a fitness center in Singapore after another trainer accused him of inappropriately touching and groping his client.
“Hands-on”: Trainer David Mesut, who conducted training sessions at Apeiro Performance, was captured on film touching his client in a manner many found inappropriate.
Cheryl Loh, who trains her clients at the same gym, took to Instagram on Monday to post a video of him touching a client’s buttocks multiple times during a session.
In the post, Loh called Mesut out for allegedly groping and touching the woman inappropriately, noting in her caption that the manner of physical contact was “not normal.”
According to Loh, she noticed Mesut’s behavior a few weeks earlier but thought against commenting as she was unsure if they were a couple or not.
Loh decided to film another interaction between the two on July 31, and then contacted the woman, informing her that Mesut’s technique was “unprofessional.”
“There are many ways to teach muscle engagement, and the way he is doing it is not how a professional coach should behave,” Loh told the woman via text message.
The woman responded back and explained she told Mesut not to touch her buttocks as it made her uncomfortable.
Mesut reportedly responded to this by saying the touching was necessary as he needed to do so to “check [her] muscle”.
Banned: Since then, the woman has stopped training with Mesut.
Loh shared that while the woman decided not to file a police report, she gave Loh permission to share about the incident to inform others of what constitutes inappropriate behavior in fitness training.
On August 4, Apeiro Performance posted a statement revealing that Mesut was not their employee but a freelancer who uses its facilities, and has since been banned from the gym, according toYahoo Lifestyle SEA.
Arguing consent: In response to the issue, Mesut said he will be filing a police report against the “false accusations,” reports AsiaOne. He argued that he did nothing out of the ordinary as his client had consented to the physical contact.
“Right from the beginning, I had told her about physical contact on a particular part of her body and she said that she understood and therefore, consented,” he was quoted as saying.
Mesut, who said he is now seeking legal advice, shared that his client showed him the viral video and when they discussed the exercise, she did not object to the physical contact.
“She did not place any objection to any aspects of the video or the fact that there was physical contact,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Apeiro Performance gym founder Habib Noh has expressed commitment in supporting the woman in any investigations despite her not being a direct client, Coconuts Singapore reported.
“We will actively support and protect any member of the gym who comes forward with information or allegations about misconduct,” he added. “Moving forward, it is our commitment that Apeiro Performance will do everything to take swift action to improve our policies against harassment or sexual misconduct, as well as to improve our dedication to create the best environment for both our members and fitness professionals.”
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