On 16th June 2022, the final report of the Whyte Review was published. The Whyte Review investigates allegations of mistreatment which were raised by gymnasts and parents of gymnasts, and explores whether British Gymnastics dealt appropriately with these concerns as an organisation.
The final report found that between 2008 and 2020, there was a failure to protect the wellbeing of gymnasts, and that the culture meant gymnasts felt unable to raise issues. Shockingly, the report also revealed numerous instances of extreme weight controlling, food restrictions, and punishments when weight targets were not met.
Tom Quinn, Beat’s Director of External Affairs has said:
“The findings of the Whyte Review are extremely shocking. That such appalling and systemic abuse and extreme weight management practices, such as punishing young gymnasts for weight changes, body shaming and withholding food, was allowed to take place is deeply concerning. It is crucial that every gymnast feels safe, supported and protected by their team, and that those affected by eating disorders have access to specialist support.
“Eating disorders are serious and complex mental illnesses, with anorexia having the highest mortality rate of any illness. British Gymnastics must urgently take the steps needed to protect those with or vulnerable to eating disorders, and must never allow this harmful practice to happen again.”
Anne Whyte QC, who published the Whyte Review, has put forward a series of recommendations to British Gymnastics to ensure that it puts the welfare of gymnasts at the heart of its organisation.
Where can I find more information?
The Whyte Review contains graphic details about mistreatment and eating disorders that may be distressing to read, and so we would not recommend that anybody affected by an eating disorder reads the report. For those who do wish to read the final report, the Whyte Review is publicly available online.