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Abuse in gymnastics: 17 former gymnasts sue British federation

2021-02-26T13:55:23.934Z

In the scandal of abuse in British gymnastics, numerous former athletes have now filed a class action lawsuit against the national association. The charge: systematic physical and psychological abuse.



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»This is just the beginning of the profound changes that we are calling for«: Jennifer Pinches at the 2012 Games in London

Photo: Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

Seventeen former gymnasts in the UK have filed class action lawsuits against the umbrella organization British Gymnastics.

The group, including three Olympic participants, announced their plans in a letter.

She accuses the association of systematic physical and psychological abuse.

It calls for a formal apology, compensation and improved guidelines for trainers.

British Gymnastics acknowledged receipt of the application.

"The abuse was committed by coaches and others employed by British Gymnastics in various clubs around the country," said the gymnast's law firm. "All affiliated with the governing body." At the time of the alleged abuse, it was the gymnasts between six and 23 years old.

In the lawsuit, the gymnasts describe, among other things, “psychological abuse” such as “inappropriate physical violence” and “unfounded weight management techniques” that lead to “eating disorders” and “body dysmorphism”.

They also describe "bullying" and "abusive punishments", which are believed to have caused psychological damage such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"This is not about a few bad apples, this is about decades of systematic abuse that was promoted and covered up by those responsible," said Claire Heafford, one of the plaintiffs and one of the founders of the "Gymnasts for Change" group: " The hopes and dreams of countless children and young women to compete as professional gymnasts have been shattered, and their love for the sport is now overshadowed by fear and suffering. "

According to Jennifer Pinches, who quit after participating in the 2012 Summer Games in London, British gymnastics had "podiums above people for too long.

This is just the beginning of the profound changes that we are calling for. "

At the end of the previous year, Jane Allen, chairman of the gymnastics association, resigned because of the scandal.

In an interview with the BBC, Allen admitted that British Gymnastics had failed to protect the athletes and apologized to those injured by the organization.

There were similar allegations in Germany, the USA, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

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Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2021-02-26

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