The UK hid abuses in gymnastics as it claimed its first Olympic medals

The United kingdom He is living a new episode of his gym abuse scandal after the publication of the final report that explains everything that happened up to 2017. British gymnastics It allowed for a culture in which young gymnasts experienced physical and mental abuse, while looking the other way and concerned only with athletic success without concern for the well-being of the athletes. 133 professionals condemn practices in which they are humiliated and even denied water.

In as many as 400 cases the culture of athlete abuse is evident. More than 40% described physically abusive behavior toward gymnasts by coaches, including corporal punishment, improper training that leads to injury, excessive stretching to fatigue, and denial of food or drink or use of the toilet. In addition, there are 30 cases that included reports of sexual assault by coaches.

No coaches have been named in White ReportIt is the file that discovered hundreds of complaints that went unrecorded between 2008 and 2016 due to the “culture of fear” that prevailed. It also describes that some of the problems stem from the arrival of trainers from or from countries affected by soviet union. From now on, it will be reviewed every six months to ensure that the changes are working and the situations described have not been revived.

There are different examples. A former gymnast explains that she was restrained with bars as a punishment for entering the bathroom or exceeding her break time. The gymnast’s father revealed that two coaches pushed his son’s legs down to slit them. It was made clear that 30 cases of sexual assault were not systematic and were taken seriously by British Gymnastics. For all this time, the union received more than 44 million euros from the government.

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There are also phrases in which they describe the comments they have received that refer to their body such as “You look like a whale,” “You have a beer belly,” or “Your thighs are disgusting.” As a result, a “significant” number of gymnasts developed dysfunctional relationships with food, weight, and body image. Prior to 2008, no British gymnast had won an Olympic medal. Since then, the UK has won 16 victories in the last four Olympics.

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UK Sports s England sport He made a joint statement after the report was released: “The gymnasts’ combined experiences are heartbreaking and painful to read. No one in the sport should be subjected to such abuse. We want to publicly acknowledge and thank all those who have been brave in stepping up. Their voices are being heard. They played a vital role in the future of gymnastics in Britain, which helped make it safe and inclusive.”

British Gymnastics CEO, Sarah PowellIn his position since October 2021, he explained that the gymnasts’ experiences detailed in the review were “unacceptable” and that reading the report appeared “emotional”. “Gymnastics will be different because of the courage of the gymnasts who stood up,” he said. “British Gymnastics has accepted all the recommendations and key findings. We will do whatever is necessary,” he said in a statement.

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