An independent review into allegations about mistreatment within the sport of gymnastics has formally begun.
Co-commissioned by Sport England and UK Sport, the Review comes following a series of serious allegations being made in recent months about the treatment of gymnasts at all levels of the sport.
The Terms of Reference for the Review are available to view/download here, and a designated independent website for the review – www.whytereview.org – is also now live. This website contains all information relating to the Review and provides information on how individuals wishing to report allegations of abuse can submit evidence to the Review.
The independent 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. Anne sits as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Queen's Bench division.
The Review will start with a Call for Evidence to give opportunity for any individual or organisation to provide information relevant to the Terms of Reference directly to the Review.
The independent Review 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; and,
- gymnasts, or their parents, carers or guardians, have felt unable to raise complaints with appropriate authorities and if so, why.
Sally Munday, CEO of UK Sport, said:
“The appointment of Anne Whyte QC to lead this Review, together with the publication of the Terms of Reference is a significant milestone in addressing the serious issues which have emerged from gymnastics in recent months.
“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 Review.
“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.”
Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said:
“This is a very important next 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, as well as determining what needs to happen next to reform the sport.
“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.
“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 prioritizes wellbeing.”
The Terms of Reference for the review are available here.