Shropshire Star

Amy Tinkler claims she was ‘lied to’ and ‘let down’ by British Gymnastics

The Olympic bronze medallist is unimpressed by how the governing body handled a complaint.

Last updated

Amy Tinkler claims she was “lied to” and “let down” by British Gymnastics over the governing body’s handling of a complaint she submitted in December 2019 concerning allegations of mistreatment within the sport.

The Rio Olympic bronze medallist discovered this month that her complaint relating to national head coach Amanda Reddin, who has temporarily stepped down subject to an investigation into her conduct, was closed in March.

British Gymnastics has previously apologised for failing to directly inform Tinkler about the progress of her complaint sooner, but robustly refutes the latest claims by the 20-year-old that she continues to be kept in the dark.

In a post on her social media channels, Tinkler confirmed that she received a response from British Gymnastics last week, in which she alleged she was lied to by the organisation’s integrity director, Richard Evans, and that he “went back on his public apology to me”.

Tinkler added: “This really stinks and my patience has run out. I’ve tried to do the right thing but the people running British Gymnastics can’t be trusted.

“They have let us all down. They lie. We deserve better than this. Change at the top must happen before the right thing will be done.”

Rio Olympic Games 2016 – Day Eleven
Amy Tinkler won an Olympic bronze medal at the age of 16 (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The PA news agency has seen an email sent by Evans to Tinkler last Monday, in which Evans assures Tinkler that despite the closure of her personal complaint her views in regard to Reddin will be sought by the head of the independent investigation.

Evans writes: “He [the QC in charge of the investigation] has begun his work and when he begins interviewing and gathering evidence, he will wish to talk to you about your experiences and your complaint to determine how the matters you raised with us should be taken into account.”

Evans continues: “I hope this reassures you that we have taken and are taking your complaint and others’ about Amanda Reddin seriously and that we are making sure this is done in an impartial and thorough way.”

Becky Downie
Ellie (left) and Becky Downie have described a “culture of fear” within gymnastics (John Walton/PA)

Responding to Tinkler’s frustration that she is yet to have direct contact with under-fire British Gymnastics chief executive Jane Allen, Evans insisted it was a “deliberate” move to ensure the integrity of the ongoing investigations.

“I have.. shared your tweet with her and we agreed that as your questions were about our complaints processes I should respond to you,” wrote Evans.

“This is because Jane does not play any role in the direction or handling of complaints and does not therefore have access to the details to answer your questions.

“This is quite deliberate to ensure that our complaints handling is as independent and objective as possible.”

Tinkler retains an outstanding complaint about alleged improprieties at her former club, South Durham, which has been referred by British Gymnastics’ case management team to a Durham Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).

An independent review, co-commissioned by UK Sport and Sport England, has been established to look into allegations of bullying and abuse within the sport, made by numerous leading present and former gymnasts including Becky and Ellie Downie, Louis Smith and Nile Wilson.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.