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British Gymnastics steps aside from review into abuse allegations

SPORTS By Reuters | July 17th 2020
UK Sport and Sport England said they welcomed British Gymnastics' decision to step aside and agreed to co-commission the review. [Courtesy]

British Gymnastics will "step aside" to allow UK Sport and Sport England to co-commission the independent review into allegations of abuse and bullying in the sport, the governing body said on Thursday.

British Gymnastics had said last week that it had commissioned Jane Mulcahy QC to conduct the review.

It said on Thursday, however, that it had now asked UK Sport and Sport England to co-commission it instead to "remove all doubt" of the review's independence and integrity.

A number of ex-gymnasts have come forward and described abusive behaviour from coaches and staff.

"It's vital the review is unequivocally independent with full resources to effectively deal with concerns raised by gymnasts," CEO of British Gymnastics Jane Allen said in a statement.

"In the past week, the complexities have increased and it is clear to retain the trust of the gymnastics community we have decided to recuse ourselves from any management of the review.

"Our priority is to learn the lessons and ensure the welfare of all those within gymnastics. By stepping aside, we hope the review can now proceed unimpeded."

UK Sport and Sport England said they welcomed British Gymnastics' decision to step aside and agreed to co-commission the review.

They said they were also working with the British Athletes Commission (BAC) and the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) to ensure the review has the "credibility and the confidence of those who have the courage to come forward".

"Our immediate priority is to provide support for all those affected by these allegations," UK Sport said in a statement.

"We are working with the BAC as it finalises its plans to assist gymnasts and others who have been impacted to raise their concerns and take part in the review."

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