The British Gymnastics chief executive, Jane Allen, has been accused of “hanging gymnasts out to dry” and presiding over a culture where complaints were ignored, in an explosive letter written by the Rio Olympic bronze medallist Amy Tinkler.
Tinkler also expressed her frustration with British Gymnastics for refusing to tell her why her complaint against women’s head national coach, Amanda Reddin, was abruptly closed last month, despite repeated requests for more information.
On social media, Tinkler wrote: “It’s been 271 days since I submitted my complaint and 25-days since I was abruptly told by email that my complaint into Amanda Reddin and British Gymnastics was closed. I’ve emailed British Gymnastics three times since asking for an explanation or summary outcome. I’ve received nothing.
“I don’t think it’s acceptable. I feel I’ve given British Gymnastics plenty of time to do the right thing.”
The 20-year-old, who revealed in July that she retired in January because of her negative experiences in the sport, said the way she was being treated reflected a wider problem with British Gymnastics. “It is now obvious that your organisation acts only when a light is shone on your behaviour,. Left to your own devices you’ll ignore those who you should be supporting. Why, as CEO, do you let this happen? Why have you created this culture?”
The 20-year-old, who was the youngest Team GB medallist at the Rio Games, also questioned why she found out that her complaint against Reddin and British Gymnastics had been dropped via a third party.
“Why are you treating me differently?” she said. “Are you aware your actions are prolonging my suffering? All I ask Jane, is for you to be honest, to be open, and to lead as a CEO should. Please help me. Please help all of us gymnasts and stop hanging us out to dry.”
Tinkler also demanded answers from Allen in the next seven days. “If you don’t, I’ll know that you’re not taking me, other gymnasts or your role as CEO seriously.”
In a statement British Gymnastics said: “We apologise to Amy for any issues with our communications around her complaint. She deserves answers and we have offered to meet her either in person or virtually so we can talk her through the answers to her questions.”
The governing body had no further comment about the criticisms levelled at Allen.
Reddin has temporarily stepped down after being placed under investigation following several other allegations about her conduct. They include claims by the British gymnast Ruby Harrold, who accused Reddin presided over a “culture of fear” at Lilleshall, and described food portions that left her and her fellow gymnasts hungry.
Reddin has denied any wrongdoing and the claims against her will constitute part of the independent review, commissioned by UK Sport and Sport England and led by Anne Whyte QC, to look into complaints of mistreatment within the sport.
Other gymnasts have spoken out about physical and mental abuse in the British system, including the world championship medallists Becky and Ellie Downie who said “cruel” behaviour was “so ingrained in our daily lives that it became completely normalised” – although they did not mention any coaches by name.