July 6th 2020

A recent controversial ruling by a judge that effectively left British Gymnastics in sole charge of the sport in this country in the short term, means young Gymnasts and their worried families are still fearing that the culture of abuse within the sport will continue unchecked.

It has been reported in the national media this evening that scores of athletes, right from grassroots to Olympians were left scared by what one told Sky News was a “culture of fear” within British Gymnastics, a situation made all the worse by a ruling against UK Gymnastics last month.

The edict, from Judge Melissa Clarke, that UK Gymnastics – a rival independent organisation – was effectively “passing themselves off” as BG, was dismissed as “bizarre” at the time, and is currently subject to appeal.

UK Gymnastics is currently undergoing a rebrand, but Sports Journalist, Andy Thorley said it may come too late for the children and adults that are being turned away from the sport: “Some of the stories we have heard about BG are even more unpleasant than the ones that are in the public domain,” he added.  “That said, we are glad that the tip of the iceberg so to speak, is visible, because the wider public now understand, at least in part, what BG are guilty of.”

Children spoke of panic attacks, or being made to compete while injured. Some were bullied into taking part while exhausted and have been turned away from the sport. Andy admitted he saw a parallel with the treatment of UK Gymnastics. “Absolutely,” he confirmed. “The same bullying tactics, designed to stamp out any dissent. That’s how they work. Someone has to take a stand, and we are doing that.”

The scores of Gymnasts have perhaps been empowered to come forward by the Netflix documentary Athlete A, which fully exposed the scale of abuse in USA gymnastics which allowed convicted paedophile and former Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar (pictured) to continue offending.

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