— Published 4 May 2021

Late apology from the Australian Federation

The long list of cases and abuses is still growing in gymnastics. Australia has also been affected. The Australian Gymnastics Federation (Gymnastics Australia) has apologized to the athletes who were abused under its responsibility, after an independent report by the National Human Rights Commission. It announced its commitment to conduct a full investigation into all cases, about the culture and practices of gymnastics in the country. The Australian Human Rights Commission began a review of the country’s gymnastics program in August, following complaints of physical and mental abuse from former Australian gymnasts. The complainants described being assaulted by coaches and forced to train and compete while injured. The Human Rights Commission’s report reveals that training practices create a risk of abuse and prejudice to athletes. It adds that Gymnastics Australia does not adequately address complaints of abuse and harm and does not effectively protect children and young people. The focus is reportedly on “winning at all costs,” the independent inquiry states, and athletes are being silenced by abusive coaches. “Gymnastics Australia apologizes unreservedly to all athletes and their family members who have suffered from any kind of abuse while participating in the sport,” the federation said in a video message on Monday, May 3rd. The Gymnastics Australia Board will oversee the response to the report. The Gymnastics Australia Integrity Committee, which was established last year, will supervise the implementation of the recommendations. “The national body also announced its decision to adopt the 12 recommendations in the report without delay. These include an increased commitment and accountability from coaches, and an improved listening of child abuse and neglect cases.