Canadian gymnasts report sexual abuse in letter, demand investigation

Canadian gymnasts allege ‘toxic culture’ and demand investigation

A group of 70 gymnasts from Canada wrote a joint letter, released today (28), calling for an independent investigation into a “toxic culture and abusive practices” in the country’s sport.

The letter, which was forwarded to Sport Canada CEO Vicki Walker, reports emotional, physical and even sexual abuse and directs most of the complaints to Canadian coaches.

The group of gymnasts includes athletes who are currently part of the national team as well as former athletes. In the letter, the athletes also point out that fear of reprisal has prevented the protests and complain about the “inability” of Gymnastics Canada:

“The current Board and CEO of GymCan have failed to address these issues and have failed to earn the trust of athletes. Their failure to respond adequately to systemic abuse, mistreatment and discrimination is concerning. We urge Sport Canada to take action to ensure that the next generation of Canadian gymnasts does not experience the physical and psychological trauma that we have had to endure. »

In the United States, national team gymnasts have mobilized against doctor Larry Nassar, who abused approximately 330 athletes. Nassar was sentenced to 300 years in prison, and the Federation and the United States Olympic Committee (USA) agreed to compensate the athletes.

Elmer Hayward

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