British Gymnastics Orders Abuse Investigation!

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

Abuse of gymnasts has recently come to light and the sports’ governing body, British Gymnasts, has called for an independent enquiry.

It is alleged that there has been mistreatment of several gymnasts in a sport that has been described as “mentally and emotionally abusive.” Gymnasts have been weighed twice a day and coaches would discuss their weights in front of a whole group and display their weights on a white board.

This has led to gymnasts being afraid of putting on weight and has, in turn, led to some eating disorders, such as ‘anorexia nervosa’.

The enquiry, ordered by the sports’ governing body, will be conducted by Jane Mulcahy QC of Blackstone Chambers, London. She has been described as an “absolute star of the sports law bar.”

Jane Allen, the Chief Executive of British Gymnasts, has commented as follows:

“The behaviours we have heard about in recent days are completely contrary to our standards of safe coaching and have no place in our sport.”

The results of the enquiry will be awaited with interest!


Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘’