British Gymnastics: Weight-shaming allegations ‘completely unacceptable’

Amy Tinkler
Amy Tinkler (PA Wire)
17:13pm, Wed 07 Oct 2020
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British Gymnastics has described further weight-shaming allegations levelled by Olympic bronze medallist Amy Tinkler as “completely unacceptable”.

In an interview with ITV News, Tinkler describes how national coach Amanda Reddin “went psycho” after finding sweet wrappers in her room, and accused her of looking “fat”.

Tinkler also blames Reddin, who has stepped aside from her role pending a broader investigation into her conduct, for causing an an ankle injury which forced her to miss the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Amy Tinkler (PA Wire)

British Gymnastics said in a statement: “The incidents recounted by Amy are completely unacceptable in our sport.

“Investigations are already underway into a number of these claims. These allegations, and any additional information Amy wishes to submit, will be provided to the relevant investigations.”

Last week, Tinkler published a series of e-mails in which another national coach, Colin Still, alluded to her being a “fat dwarf”, prompting British Gymnastics to launch a separate inquiry.

Amy Tinkler (PA Wire)

Tinkler is not the first elite GB athlete to question “weight-shaming” techniques.

Rio team-mate Ellie Downie revealed she had been routinely told to lose weight during national camps, and been asked by a nutritionist to provide food diaries of everything she ate, and post daily pictures of herself in her underwear.

Describing one incident at a training camp ahead of the world championship, Tinkler said: “Amanda came over to us and was like, I can be a bitch when I want to be a bitch and this is one of them times and basically just went psycho at us for having sweet wrappers in our rooms.

Olympics – Team GB Kitting Out – The NEC (PA Archive)

“There was a girl there who she liked the look of, her body shape was ideal for her and she said, you should all look like this girl.

“But not one gymnast has the same body shape. We got told that our bodies are very similar to the Americans and that they look good and they look muscly and we got told that we just look fat.”

In a statement issued through British Gymnastics, Reddin said: “[I] will be fully supportive of the independent investigator by submitting all relevant information and evidence I have in response to these allegations.”

Also speaking for the first time since the allegations were levelled against him, Still said he felt “genuinely devastated” to learn that comments he had made had hurt any gymnasts.

Still added: “I do not recall or have record of making these comments attributed to me two years ago.

“An investigation is ongoing which I fully support and will be submitting all relevant information and evidence to.”

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