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Dutch Gymnastics Federation Investigating Abuse Allegations of Women’s Training Program

July 30, 2020, 11.23 PM

THE HAGUE, - On Wednesday, the Dutch Gymnastics Federation suspended its women’s top training program with immediate effect.

The decision was instantly enforced and will remain in place while the Dutch Gymnastics Federation carries out an investigation into allegations of intimidation and abuse.

Coaches of its women’s top training program have been stripped of an active role until a probe into alleged “unacceptable behavior and intimidation” is completed.

The Dutch Gymnastics Federation announced their decision in a statement.

The timing of the investigations comes with less than a year left to the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics. One of the coaches is Vincent Wevers, father of 2016 Olympic beam champion Sanne Wevers.

The announcement followed days of Dutch media reports in which former gymnasts complained of intimidation and physical abuse by coaches in the past.

Members of the current women's team, including Sanne Wevers, posted a statement on their Instagram feeds earlier this week in which they said that such abuse was a thing of the past.

“In our current team, there is a healthy top sport climate,” they wrote.

A call and email to the gymnastics federation seeking comment from the coaches were not immediately returned.

Technisch Directeur Mark Meijer called it a tough decision, particularly for Olympic hopefuls preparing for Tokyo.

“But in the interests of the sport and credibility of our top sport program, it is necessary,” he said.

“We are going to discuss with clubs and trainers affected about what exactly this means for them.”

The Dutch gymnastics federation announced its investigation last week.

It's not the first to take action.

Earlier this month, British Gymnastics CEO Jane Allen announced an independent review of claims of mistreatment in the sport in Britain.


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