No Olympics for coaches under bullying investigation, say Team GB

Great Britain's Amy Tinkler won bronze in the floor at the Rio Olympics aged just 16 but says issues with how she was treated has forced her to quit gymnastics

Any coach under investigation for bullying or abuse will not be part of next year's British Olympic team, officials have confirmed, writes James Toney.

In recent days a succession of gymnasts have come forward detailing their experiences of mistreatment, including Olympians Becky and Ellie Downie and Lisa Mason.

Amy Tinkler, who won floor bronze in Rio four years ago aged just 16, even claimed she was forced to quit the sport because of negative experiences that had nothing to do with a run of injuries.

"In terms of staffing we are quite clear that anybody that is under investigation would not be part of Team GB," said the British Olympic Association's chef de mission Mark England.

"We wouldn’t expect anybody to be brought forward and nominated by governing bodies who were under investigation in any way, shape or form."

British Gymnastics has stepped aside from a review into allegations of widespread mistreatment in the sport to ensure the integrity and independence of the process, which will now be managed independently by UK Sport.

However, England - who will lead the British team for the second time in Tokyo - admits the stories have been hard to read.

"Amy was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed coming into the village and then coming home three weeks later with a medal before her GCSE results," he added.

"I'm saddened for people like Amy and I think that once you have elite Olympians and athletes airing their views, it's important because that gives the platform for others to come forward.

"Our safeguarding at the Olympics for athletes is very strong and our processes are rigorous in this regard. It is important now that the review is allowed to continue and allowed to set its course and parameters."

Meanwhile, British Gymnastics chief executive Jane Allen insists her organisation is determined to let the review continue without any suggestion of interference.

"It is vital the review is unequivocally independent with full resources to effectively deal with concerns raised by gymnasts," she said.

"In the past week, the complexities have increased, and it is clear to retain the trust of the gymnastics community we have decided to recuse ourselves from any management of the review.

"Our priority is to learn the lessons and ensure the welfare of all those within gymnastics. By stepping aside, we hope the review can now proceed unimpeded."