British Gymnastics announces independent review after abuse allegations


  • Gymnastics
  • Wednesday, 08 Jul 2020

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - British Gymnastics will conduct an independent review of allegations of abuse and bullying in the sport, the governing body said on Tuesday.

British media reports have cited allegations from a number of ex-gymnasts describing abusive behaviour from coaches and staff.

The review will be conducted by Jane Mulcahy QC, who has experience in a number of areas within sports.

The announcement by British Gymnastics came after the British Athletes Commission (BAC), which represents the country's Olympic and Paralympic athletes, called for an investigation of the allegations.

“The behaviours we have heard about in recent days are completely contrary to our standards of safe coaching and have no place in our sport," said Jane Allen, CEO of British Gymnastics.

"The British Gymnastics Integrity Unit is set up to investigate all allegations when reported or identified by our national network of club and regional Welfare Officers.

“However, it is clear that gymnasts did not feel they could raise their concerns to British Gymnastics and it is vital that an Independent Review helps us better understand why so we can remove any barriers as quickly as possible.

“There is nothing more important for British Gymnastics than the welfare of our gymnasts at every level of our sport and we will continually strive to create a culture where people feel they can raise any concerns that they may have.”

The BAC had urged a full investigation of the allegations after British Gymnastics originally called for gymnasts to contact their Integrity Unit.

"No athlete should be expected to tolerate an abuse of power or poor practice. The performance environment should be a place of mutual trust and respect where athletes are supported in achieving their best," the athletes' body said.

"The BAC is worried to hear of athlete experiences which appear not to reflect these standards and would urge that any allegations are investigated thoroughly."

(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Toby Davis)

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