In July 2020, Anne Whyte QC was commissioned to conduct an independent review of the mistreatment allegations within British gymnastics. The recently released Whyte Report (2022) exposed systemic physical and emotional abuse, inadequate safeguarding policies, and alarming coach behaviours. In response to these findings, British Gymnastics has taken significant steps to address the issues highlighted in the report.

Immediate Reforms Implemented

British Gymnastics has now banned coaches from weighing gymnasts, a practice that had been a cause for concern. The new rules, effective immediately, include:

  1. Weight Measurement Restrictions:
    • No gymnast aged 10 or under can be weighed.

    • Those above the age of 10 can be weighed only with the explicit consent of both the gymnast and their parent or guardian, particularly if the gymnast is under 18.

  2. Hydration Policy:
    • Restricting a gymnast from drinking water or using the toilet during training is now categorized as “physical abuse.”

    • Emphasis is placed on ensuring gymnasts have regular access to fluids, and visits to the toilet should be allowed at the earliest opportunity.

  3. Academic Education Policy:
    • No child under the age of 12 can be taken out of school for training purposes.

    • Those over 12 can only miss school under “exceptional circumstances,” such as competitions.

Addressing Past Concerns

While these reforms are commendable, it is essential to acknowledge that they cannot erase the experiences of those who have suffered abuse. British Gymnastics is actively addressing a backlog of approximately 350 ‘concerns’ from gymnasts, some dating back several years.

Seeking Redress and Support

For those who have experienced abuse within the sport, seeking redress and support is a crucial step. Farleys, a team of specialists in assisting abuse victims, has been actively working with individuals who have suffered abuse in British Gymnastics and other competitive sports. They have successfully helped victims receive damages and find a sense of closure.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of abuse in British Gymnastics and wishes to explore the possibility of making a claim, the Farleys team is available for confidential discussions. Contact us at 0330 134 6430 or via email.


The implementation of these reforms by British Gymnastics is a vital step toward creating a safer and more supportive environment within the sport. While acknowledging the importance of these changes, it is crucial to continue supporting survivors and ensuring that ongoing efforts contribute to a lasting positive impact on gymnastics and the well-being of its athletes.