Tinkler unhappy with time taken over bullying complaint

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Last Updated: 28/07/20 12:18pm

Amy Tinkler has been critical of British Gymnastics
Amy Tinkler has been critical of British Gymnastics

Amy Tinkler has criticised British Gymnastics over the time taken to deal with her complaint over bullying and an abuse culture in the sport.

Tinkler said earlier this month her “experiences as a club and elite gymnast”, and the subsequent failure of British Gymnastics to act on her complaint, led her to announce her retirement in January.

The 20-year-old said she had no option but to quit gymnastics less than four years after becoming Great Britain’s youngest medallist at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

“I can confirm that the complaint I submitted in December 2019 related to my experience at South Durham Gymnastics Club and against part of the British Gymnastics coaching team,” Tinkler wrote on social media.

“I’ve also been chasing British Gymnastics for a timeline on their investigation into my complaint. I understand it could still take 4-months or more to reach a conclusion, making it nearly 12-months from my original complaint.

“I’m unhappy at the length of time this is taking as it leaves vulnerable gymnasts at risk of abuse from known clubs and coaches.

“I beg British Gymnastics to move swifter and take proactive action about our complaints.”

Amy Tinkler has retired from competition at the age of 20
Amy Tinkler has retired from competition at the age of 20

Gymnasts from all ages and levels of the sport have gone public to reveal instances of bullying and abuse which have prompted British Gymnastics to launch an independent review.

Tinkler spoke out after the Downie sisters, Becky and Ellie, described an “environment of fear and mental abuse” in British gymnastics and said they had been “left deep scars which will never be healed”.

“I would like to thank you all for the support you have given me over the past two weeks since releasing my statement,” said Tinkler, a bronze medallist at Rio 2016.

Tinkler won bronze for Team GB at the Rio Olympics in 2016
Tinkler won bronze for Team GB at the Rio Olympics in 2016

“I say this now as I’ve been contacted by girls and parents from the club and the gymnastics community who have told me of similar stories, some of whom have spoken to the media, and others who are still scared to talk.

“I hope by me speaking up again, it encourages those who have yet to share their story to come forward.

“Please, please, please don’t be scared, it’s important that you speak up and the NSPCC helpline is available for all of us between 8am to 10pm on weekdays and 9am to 6pm on weekends on 0800 056 0566.”

The NSPCC has described the allegations of bullying and abuse within British Gymnastics as “extremely disturbing”.

UK Sport and Sport England will co-commission the independent review after British Gymnastics relinquished its role in the process to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

British Gymnastics told Sky Sports earlier this month: “British Gymnastics received formal notification of a complaint from Amy Tinkler in December 2019 and she provided full details of this complaint to us on 10th March 2020 which then allowed the investigation to proceed.

“It is at an advanced stage and we have kept Amy Tinkler fully informed and provided her with the appropriate support and we will continue to do so.

“We can make no further comment at this stage in the process.”

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, SkySports | News reports

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