Jane Allen, chief executive of British Gymnastics, is set to retire

Jane Allen, chief executive of British Gymnastics, is set to retire

Jane Allen, chief executive of British Gymnastics, will retire in December amid allegations of bullying and abuse within the domestic sport.

Allen described the latest developments as “very difficult” and promised to continue to support the joint UK Sports and Sports UK Inquiry into the White Review, which was established in August to address growing claims.

The 65-year-old will be welcomed by top gymnasts including Olympians Becky and Ellie Downey and Amy Tingler, who described the weight loss incidents, and say serious complaints against coaches have not been effectively addressed under Allen’s watch.

Amy Tinkler
British gymnastics CEO Jane Allen (Owen Humphries / BA) Amy Tingler has filed a series of complaints about her retirement.

Allen said: “The last few months have been very difficult, but I look back with great pride on the growth and success we have had over the past 10 years with British gymnastics.

“White criticism will be an important step for gymnastics and other sports that are struggling to deal with these issues. It is very important that this is done in a fair and transparent manner for all parties and I pledge my support to help the game. ”

Allen wanted to retire after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but agreed to extend his time due to delays caused by the corona virus outbreak and help deal with abusive claims, the PA news agency understands.

On this day in 2016: Max Whitlock made history at the Rio Olympics
Max Whitlock leads Great Britain to unprecedented gymnastics success in Rio (David Davis / PA)

Nile Wilson, who won an Olympic bronze medal in Rio 2016, previously aired his comments on the “culture of abuse” in British gymnastics and took to social media to welcome Allen’s departure.

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In a video posted on his Instagram account, Wilson said: “This is a great day for the game. (But) there is still a lot of work to be done, we are not going to wake up tomorrow with one person, it will all be sunshine and rainbows and stable.

“The required cultural change begins at the top, which is a big step. For all those who have spoken boldly, change is beginning to happen.”

Allen joined British Gymnastics in 2010 after 13 years with Gymnastics Australia.

He led the way to unprecedented success, including a record seven medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and was awarded the MBE for services to the sport on this year’s New Year’s roster list.

But he found himself increasingly at the center of allegations of abuse at the elite and club level, with nearly 200 gymnasts registering complaints with a joint British athletics authority and the NSBCC helpline.

In July, Allen admitted he was “shocked and ashamed” by allegations of bullying and abuse in the domestic game, and praised the “courage” of the speakers.

The following month, it was announced that he would be temporarily stepping down from his role in the UK Sport’s major events team to avoid conflicts of interest over the White Review.

Becky Downey
Becky and Ellie Downey describe weight loss events in sport (John Walton / PA)

Amanda Redd has temporarily resigned as national coach, pending a separate inquiry into allegations of misconduct, which she vehemently denies.

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Fellow national coach Colin Still was put on trial last month after Tingler published emails that appeared to refer to the Rio 2016 bronze medalist as a “fat dwarf”.

British gymnasts say they are not in a hurry to appoint someone after Allen and that the interim chief executive will be notified in a timely manner.

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