Accomplished British Olympic gymnastics coach Amanda Reddin is under investigation after multiple athletes came forward with allegations about her conduct.
Reddin has agreed to step down from her position as national head coach to allow an investigation to proceed.
“The investigation will be completed by an external independent expert and any outcome actioned immediately,” confirmed a British Gymnastics statement to The Guardian. “Our processes and investigations will also be scrutinised by the independent review.”
The investigation stems from allegations by athletes. Rio Olympian Ruby Harrold claimed that Reddin presides over a “culture of fear,” describing a practice of doling out small food portions that left athletes hungry.
“How would you feel if you were 21 years old being given ultimately a baby plate to eat off? It’s demeaning ... it’s unhealthy,” Harrold said, according to The Guardian.
Olympic bronze medalist Amy Tinkler said via Twitter that her complaint was not dealt with seriously.
“On Friday, and only in response to media pressure, I was emailed informing me that my complaints had been dealt with and the matter closed,” Twinkler wrote on Twitter. “The way I received this information made me sick. It reinforced mine and every gymnasts’ fear, which is that their complaints aren’t dealt with fairly and independently. This is why we don’t speak up. This is why we suffer in silence. We know that to speak up is a pointless, career-ending task.”
UK Sport and Sport England have now announced that that independent review into abuse in gymnastics at all levels of the sport in Britain between 2008 and 2020 would be led by the QC Anne Whyte. It said the review would look into:
- Whether gymnasts’ wellbeing and welfare is (and has been) at the centre of the culture of British Gymnastics, its registered clubs and member coaches and if not, why not
- Whether safeguarding concerns and complaints have been dealt with appropriately in the sport of gymnastics and if not, why not
- Whether gymnasts, or their parents, carers or guardians, have felt unable to raise complaints with appropriate authorities and if so, why.