After being one of the best French athletes, Harnois lost everything and had no choice but to return to Canada (her homeland) to live with her mother, because as she herself puts it, she does not have any income.
Last May, Harnois accused the renowned national coach Myriam Baverel and the technical director Philippe Bouedo of abuse before the France Ministry of Sports. At that time Harnois said that “there were insults, threats, harassment, verbal abuse and even even slapping”. See: French Olympic medallist claimed bullying and fake marriage
Hornois´ statements quickly made a scandal in the whole Taekwondo community even reaching the executive Taekwondo leadership. However, it was quickly taken as a whim of athlete herself and soon Baverel and Bouedo had the support of the whole Taekwondo community around the world.
What Marlene Harnois initially considered to be a form of pressure on the French Federation soon turned against herself as the Ministry of Sports considered that there was no evidence to charge Baverel and Bouedo of abuse or bullying and then, it was the National Federation itself that denounced Harnois and immediately suspended her for two years from all sports activities. “When I heard that the Ministry issued a statement saying that there was no evidence, it was terrible news, a fatal blow. I had no option than returning to Canada”
Back in Canada, Harnois wants to represent this country in international competitions and as she dreams to compete in Rio 2016 Olympics, but her suspension does not allow her to compete in any official competition. There were some speculations saying that the French Federation would drop the charges against Harnois and would let her compete for Canada. However, the President of the French Federation Roger Piarulli, was blunt: “The accusations she made were very serious. Do you think that this is like passing a magic broom so that all disappear and forget what happened? No, we will see each other in trial, as it should be.”
Apparently the situation for the two-time European Champion does not seem to be solved in the near future and the fact that she left France does not guarantee that her problems have been left behind. Harnois says that she is looking for a place to train hoping that everything will be solved soon, but the French Federation claimed repeatedly that Marlene should be responsible for the charges formulated in May.