Sports British gymnastics modifies its practices after criticism received

Coaches must authorize gymnasts to go to drink and go to the bathroom during training, and are now prohibited from weighing athletes, the British federation announced on Wednesday, accused of "systemic" abuse in 2022

Sports British gymnastics modifies its practices after criticism received

Coaches must authorize gymnasts to go to drink and go to the bathroom during training, and are now prohibited from weighing athletes, the British federation announced on Wednesday, accused of "systemic" abuse in 2022.

British Gymnastics on Wednesday unveiled some of the "new practices" put in place to "better protect the wellbeing of gymnasts", more than a year after the conclusions of an independent investigation that highlighted multiple cases of mistreatment.

Relying on 400 testimonies, lawyer Anne Whyte denounced "systemic" physical and psychological abuse in a report of more than 300 pages.

Whyte noted that the pursuit of medals at any cost had led leaders to serious shortcomings in their responsibilities, particularly a strong reluctance to intervene against well-known weight control practices by athletes.

On the one hand, "coaches should not weigh gymnasts," the federation noted on Wednesday. This practice should be done voluntarily "only by qualified doctors or sports scientists," and with "a clear and scientifically valid justification."

On the other hand, "only gymnasts over ten years old can be weighed" within the framework of their practice, "and weight data must always be combined with another measurement," it is written.

British Gymnastics also recalls the right of each gymnast to be able to "drink regularly throughout a gymnastics session or activity." The report had notified children deprived of food and water by trainers as punishment.

During training, gymnasts can also go to the bathroom whenever they want, reminds the federation.