Olympic medallist Beth Tweddle says “there is no place for bullying or abuse in the sport that I love” amid widespread allegations in gymnastics.
Several gymnasts have recently come forward detailing their experiences in the sport, with British Gymnastics announcing an independent review.
Amy Tinkler, who won bronze at Rio 2016, said she made a formal complaint in December 2019.
Tweddle has urged all gymnasts to share their feelings.
In a post on Instagram, Tweddle, who won bronze on the uneven bars at London 2012, said: “Gymnastics is my life, and it’s been a difficult week or so for everyone in gymnastics reading and watching the stories in the news.
“You should never be afraid to talk and it hurts me to learn that gymnasts have not felt like they can do this. Sharing feelings, talking about experiences and being open is, I believe, the only way to create a positive and healthy environment.”
Tinkler, now 20, retired in January and was Great Britain’s youngest medallist at Rio 2016. She also won one world medal, three European medals and 10 British titles during her career.
British Gymnastics said Tinkler’s case was “at an advanced stage”, adding that she had been kept “fully informed” and provided with the “appropriate support”.
Last week the organisation announced an independent review would take place following allegations of mistreatment from a number of athletes in recent days.
Tweddle added: “Gymnastics has given me everything and allowed me to achieve my dreams. I had amazing times, but I also had tough times, but whatever the setback, whatever the problem, I talked to my family, my coach Amanda and my friends and it was their support that got me through it.
“Gymnastics allows you to have fun with your friends. It’s a sport that teaches you valuable life skills, and is open to anyone to try. It’s a positive sport, where respect is fundamental, and there is no place for bullying or abuse in the sport that I love.
“I welcome the independent review and I urge all gymnasts to talk, to contribute and share their experiences both positive and negative to ensure that our sport can be safe and enjoyable for everyone.”