Abuse in gymnastics and the anticipated Whyte Report
Our expert discusses the upcoming report, what it’ll cover, and what it might mean for abuse cases.
15 June 2022
On 13th June 2022, Anne Whyte QC completed her Final Report for the Whyte Report, investigating allegations made against gymnastics organisations in the UK. Below, our expert , , discusses the important report ahead of its imminent publication.
What’s the Whyte Report?
In July 2020, a significant number of gymnasts and their parents made allegations about mistreatment and abuse occurring within the sport of gymnastics, according to . These allegations also highlighted a shared concern among several gymnasts that existing complaints hadn’t been dealt with appropriately by .
When will the Whyte Report be published?
The report was anticipated to be complete by August 2021, but this was delayed and a revised date for the report was May 2022. A further delay led to the report being completed in June 2022. As of 13th June, the Final Report has been produced by , and has been passed onto the Commissioning Organisations involved.
As someone who represents , I am patiently awaiting the publishing of the final report by these Commissioning Organisations. I expect so too are those who were subjected to the alleged abuse and mistreatment complained of, as well as their families.
What will the Whyte Review include?
The published in February 2021 made for interesting reading, and I was shocked at the fact that allegations and their relevant complaints may not have been taken seriously and appropriate action not taken by the organisation who promotes itself as providing a safe space for its members.
The awaited report, following the investigation completed by Anne Whyte QC and her team, will focus on the following:
- Nature and volume of complaints received by British Gymnastics, including (but not limited to) allegations of mistreatment, sexual, mental (emotional and neglect) and physical abuse, bullying, harassment, and discrimination
- Approach taken by British Gymnastics to resolving complaints
- Reasons for any delay in complaints being raised
- Adoption and application by British Gymnastics of safeguarding and complaints procedures, including how compliance with safeguarding standards by clubs and member coaches was monitored and assessed
- Culture and practices of British Gymnastics, including its registered clubs, in relation to its treatment of gymnasts and consideration of their welfare
I hope that the report addresses the above key points with transparency and identifies all relevant recommendations clearly. Abuse and mistreatment allegations in sport continue to occur, and we must do more to protect sportsmen, women, and from abuse.
This can’t happen without full accountability from the organisations or governing bodies who promote their organisations as creating a safe environment for members. The Whyte Review recommendations are eagerly awaited and should be considered by the relevant organisations as well as relevant public accountability taken for any failings identified.
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