Getty Images

Norwegian police announced on Monday that Gjert Ingebrigtsen, father and former coach of 1,500m Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen, faces charges of domestic violence against a family member.

In a surprising revelation last October, Jakob Ingebrigtsen and his brothers Henrik and Filip, who are also athletes, accused their father of being violent, causing a stir in Norway.

"We grew up with a very aggressive and authoritarian father, who used physical violence and threats as part of our upbringing," the brothers wrote in an op-ed for newspaper VG. "We still feel a sense of discomfort and fear that we have felt since childhood," they added.

Following the allegations of abuse, police initiated an investigation, and on Monday, prosecutors announced their decision to charge Gjert Ingebrigtsen, aged 58, with domestic violence against one of his children. As per a source familiar with the matter, the alleged acts do not involve the trio of well-known athletes but rather another, younger child.

Allegedly, over a span of four years, from 2018 to 2022, Gjert Ingebrigtsen is accused of physically handling, verbally insulting, threatening, and striking the child in the face with either his hand or a towel. In response to inquiries from AFP, Therese Braut Vage, who oversaw the investigation, declined to verify this description.

Olympic champion Ingebrigtsen's father has been charged with domestic violence. GETTY IMAGES
Olympic champion Ingebrigtsen's father has been charged with domestic violence. GETTY IMAGES

Police stated that they had concluded investigations into other incidents involving the six additional children in the household, either due to insufficient evidence or, in one instance, because the statute of limitations had expired. Gjert, who coached Jakob until after the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, where Jakob won the gold, has consistently denied the allegations against him.

"As far as the dismissed cases, we agree that there is no evidence to prove that Ingebrigtsen committed any wrongdoing," his lawyer John Christian Elden told AFP on Monday. "For the rest, Ingebrigtsen disputes the description of the facts on which the indictment is based, and he therefore does not admit his guilt," he continued in an email.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen stands out as the most accomplished among the three brothers, securing gold medals twice in the world championships for the 5000m event in both 2022 and 2023, in addition to winning the Olympic 1500m gold. The 23-year-old athlete is also gearing up for the Olympic Games scheduled in Paris this summer.

Henrik, aged 33, and Filip, aged 31, claimed the title of European champions in the 1500m event in 2012 and 2016, respectively. Following the split with his sons, Gjert Ingebrigtsen surprised the Norwegian athletics community by taking on the role of trainer for another runner, Narve Gilje Nordas.

The Norwegian Olympic Committee has announced that Gjert will not receive accreditation for the Olympic Games in Paris this summer, similar to the situation at last year's World Athletics Championships.