Independent Review of British Gymnastics

(ATR) The national women's coach for British Gymnastics steps aside temporarily as she is investigated for abuse claims.

(ATR) The national women's coach for British Gymnastics steps aside temporarily as she is investigated for abuse claims.

British Gymnastics said on Tuesday that Amanda Reddin had agreed with the governing body in the decision.

Amy Tinkler, a bronze medalist in the floor competition at Rio 2016, said on Twitter on Tuesday that Reddin was "part of the complaint I submitted in December 2019".

Tinkler said she was told by British Gymnastics on Friday by email that her complaints had been dealt with and the matter was closed.

"The way I received this information made me sick," Tinkler said, adding that she was seeking a summary and explanation of the outcome from British Gymnastics.

Tinkler says she will be submitting her complaints to an independent review commissioned by UK Sport and Sport England that launched on Tuesday.

The review, which willbe led by barrister Anne Whyte, has its own website. Complaints and evidence can be submitted through Sept. 25.

It will be investigating abuse at all levels of gymnastics in Britain between 2008 and 2020.

The independent review is tasked with looking into whether:

1. gymnasts’ well being and welfare is (and has been) at the center of the culture of British Gymnastics, its registered clubs and member coaches and if not, why not;

2. safeguarding concerns and complaints have been dealt with appropriately in the sport of gymnastics and if not, why not; and,

3. gymnasts, or their parents, carers or guardians, have felt unable to raise complaints with appropriate authorities and if so, why.

The Whyte Review was launched in response to a series of serious allegations made in recent months about the treatment of gymnasts at all levels of the sport.

The BBC and ITV News have reported that Reddin, who is supposed to coach the British women’s team at next year’s Olympics in Tokyo, has been cleared of an allegation of physical and verbal abuse dating back to the 1980’s.

Reddin denied those allegations and said in a statement to ITV Sportat that time that she "would welcome the allegations be submitted to the independent review into alleged abuse in gymnastics to ensure the integrity of the process is protected for both athletes and coaches."

Gymnasts around the world have been speaking out in recent weeks about being the victims of emotional and physical abuse. Besides Great Britain, athletes in the Netherlands, Australia and Ireland have also come forward.

Last month, the Royal Dutch Gymnastics Union (KNGU) in an open letter called for the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) to address the issue "as soon as possible".

On July 28, FIG president Morinari Watanabe released a message saying in part "I want to tell the gymnasts who have the courage to speak out that their voices matter.

"I want to tell them that it is never too late to get involved and to push for reform, at any level."

Watanabe said the federation’s Gymnastic Ethics Foundation is fully operational and is investigating several cases.He says it is a safe, confidential mechanism to report any form of rules violation, abuse and harassment.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and USA Gymnastics are still feeling the repercussions from a sexual abuse scandal.

Hundreds of female gymnasts have sued the NGB and the USOPC over the sexual abuse they suffered under the guise of treatment by team doctor Larry Nassar. Nassar is in prison with consecutive sentences lasting 150 years.

USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy protection in December 2018.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate passed its version of a bill meant to increase the accountability of the USOPC regarding the welfare of athletes.

Similar legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives by a bipartisan group. Congress has been examining the USOPC for more than two years now in the wake of scandal not only involving USA Gymnastics but other sports under the watch of the Olympic committee.

Written by Gerard Farek

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