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Independent review into allegations of mistreatment within gymnastics

Anne Whyte QC will lead the review following a series of serious allegations in recent months.

25th August 2020

An independent review into allegations of mistreatment within gymnastics has formally begun. 

The review, which has been co-commissioned by us and UK Sport, follows a series of serious allegations being made in recent months about the treatment of gymnasts at all levels of the sport.

A gymnast rubs her hands


It will address 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  
  • safeguarding concerns and complaints have been dealt with appropriately in the sport of gymnastics and if not, why not
  • gymnasts, or their parents, carers or guardians, have felt unable to raise complaints with appropriate authorities and if so, why.

The review will be undertaken by Anne Whyte QC, a highly respected and experienced barrister with an extensive record of acting in complex criminal and civil litigation, as well as non-recent and institutional forms of abuse, both physical and sexual. 

As part of the review, the QC will conduct a call for evidence to give any individual or organisation the opportunity to provide information relevant to the Terms of Reference directly to the review. The Terms of Reference are available to read here.

An independent website for the review has also been created and contains all information relating to the review, as well as details on how individuals wishing to report allegations of abuse can submit evidence to the reviewer. 

Tim Hollingsworth, our chief executive, said the review would be “an important step in helping us to understand the breadth and depth of the many serious issues that have been raised by those involved in gymnastics across Britain at all levels”.

“The Terms of Reference set out clearly how people can get involved in the process and come forward with confidence that they will be heard, as well as setting out how the review will operate and what it will cover,” he added.

“We are grateful to Anne Whyte QC for taking this forward and will work closely with her once the review is complete to progress her recommendations, so that everyone involved in gymnastics can feel safe in a culture that prioritises wellbeing.”

Sally Munday, chief executive of UK Sport, added that this was a significant milestone in addressing the serious issues which have emerged from the sport in recent months.  

She said: “UK Sport will now wait for the review to be conducted and we’d encourage anyone who has information relevant to the Terms of Reference to contact the reviewer.

“Once we receive the final report, we’ll be working with our colleagues at Sport England and with British Gymnastics to ensure the necessary recommendations and reforms are implemented in order to protect participants at all levels of the sport moving forward.”

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