Sports Competitors: Abuse

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 3rd September 2020.

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Photo of Edward Davey Edward Davey Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Treasury), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Social Justice), Leader of the Liberal Democrats

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with (a) UK Sport and (b) British Gymnastics on recent allegations of physical and mental abuse of gymnasts; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

I wrote to British Gymnastics on 9th July, expressing my concerns at the emerging allegations of abuse.

It is vital that everyone participating in sport feels safe and secure and that where allegations of inappropriate or harmful behaviour are made, these are taken seriously. There is no place for abuse of any kind in sport and anyone responsible for such behaviour must be held accountable.

I therefore welcome the launch, on 25th August, of the Whyte Review which will look into allegations of mistreatment within the sport of gymnastics.

My department will follow the Whyte Review and its findings closely and will continue to work with Sport England, UK Sport and the Child Protection in Sport Unit to strengthen safeguarding provision.

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