• February 5, 2023

British Gymnastics: Group of 17 women and girls taking legal action over alleged abuse

Three Olympians are among 17 women and girls taking legal action against British Gymnastics

A group of 17 women and girls are due to take legal action against UK gymnastics for alleged physical and psychological abuse.

The group of current and former gymnasts between the ages of 15 and 43 complain about the behavior of coaches and staff from clubs across the UK.

Nicole Pavier is one of the proposers and hopes that the move will “ensure the safety of future generations”.

On Investigation of allegations of abuse running at British Gymnastics.

The review, overseen by Anne Whyte QC, continues along with an investigation into the conduct of Amanda Reddin, the head coach of British Gymnastics. they stepped back from the role last August.

Sarah Moore, a partner at Hausfeld law firm, which represents the women, said, “This is not a bad apple problem.”

British Gymnastics said: “It would not be fair or fair for all parties to comment until we have had a chance to examine it in full.”

Figures refer to athletes who were between six and 23 years old at the time of the alleged abuse.

Allegations of physical and psychological abuse include:

  • Inappropriate use of physical violence and assault
  • A “carefree” attitude towards injury and / or complaints of pain and pressure on gymnasts to continue training while injured
  • The failure of coaches to properly oversee physically demanding and potentially dangerous disciplines
  • Abusive and Harmful Coaching Techniques
  • Weight management techniques are believed to have caused eating disorders, body dysmorphisms, and an unhealthy relationship with food
  • Bullying and intimidating behavior

It is claimed that “in almost all cases” athletes have suffered from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and an obsessive-compulsive disorder that “affects many of the applicants to this day”.

Attorney Moore said the 17 she represents wanted “better security, better transparency” and a move away from the “win at all costs” motto, but she added that financial compensation will be “important”. “This could allow them access therapies and other physical aids they need now because of the physical damage they have suffered,” she told BBC Sport.

Pavier said she went the “legal route” because she did not “believe that British gymnastics will take it seriously”.

“There are many of us, our voices are much stronger together than apart,” she said. “You can’t ignore the crowd of us talking now.”

British former Olympic gymnast Jennifer Pinches, who founded the Gymnasts for Change campaign group last year, said the governing body’s prioritization of “podiums over people” “has caused immeasurable harm in the lives of young people.”

She added, “This is just the beginning of the profound changes we are calling for and the justice that we will fight for.”

Jack

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