CEO to exit as British Gymnastics reviews athletes’ claims

LONDON (AP) — The chief executive of British Gymnastics will retire at the end of the year amid escalating allegations of bullying and abuse within the sport in the country.

Jane Allen announced in July an independent review of claims of mistreatment in the sport in Britain, after Olympians Becky and Ellie Downie said they were subjected to abusive behavior in gymnastics training for many years.

Britain’s top gymnastics coach, Amanda Reddin, recently stepped aside temporarily while allegations about her conduct are investigated.

The 65-year-old Allen described the recent developments as “extremely difficult” and pledged her continued support for the investigation entitled the “Whyte Review.”

“The Whyte Review will be an important step forward for gymnastics and other sports struggling to deal effectively with these issues,” she said. “It is vital that this happens in a fair and transparent manner for all parties and I pledge my support to helping the sport to do that.”

Allen intended to retire after the Tokyo Olympics that were planned for this year. She agreed to extend her time in her role due to the delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic — the Olympics have been pushed back 12 months — and to help deal with the abuse claims.

Allen took the role with British Gymnastics in 2010 after 13 years in a similar position with Gymnastics Australia.

British Gymnastics said it was in no rush to appoint a successor to Allen.

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