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Fri, March 24, 2023

Gymnastics Ethics Foundation sets new safeguarding standards to protect athletes from abuse and harassment

Gymnastics Ethics Foundation sets new safeguarding standards to protect athletes from abuse and harassment

The GEF, the sport's international investigations agency, issued new safeguarding standards to better protect athletes from abuse and harassment, with a view to the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games.

The President of the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation, Micheline Calmy-Rey, said “Gymnasts 2028 outlines an ambitious vision that the GEF seeks to achieve underpinned by a strong, relevant, agile strategic framework. The GEF Council wholeheartedly established and adopted this framework focusing on our collective responsibilities to create a safe, thriving, and impactful sport for all gymnasts to participate and compete in throughout their lives. The time is now, and the actions needed are clear. Taking no action is not an option.” 

Gymnasts 2028 outlines urgent challenges and trends in gymnastics and describes how the GEF seeks to address them through five strategic priority areas. These areas relate to harm prevention, discipline and adjudication, capacity development, growth, and value generation in cooperation with a global network (the global gymnastics ecosystem).

Examples of planned activities under these five priority areas include: 

  • engage, support and protect survivors, whistle-blowers and investigative media involved in exposing, uncovering or addressing harmful and unethical behaviour; 
  • develop relationships, formal partnerships and resources with athlete-led organisations, sport integrity bodies, sports bodies, government, IGOs and NGOs, and law enforcement that develop proactive systems for intelligence gathering; 
  • identify, assess and mitigate strategic and operational institutional risks across the global gymnastics ecosystem in accordance with international standards (e.g. ISO 31000) and best practices; 
  • commission, identify, assess and promote research related to various topics that impact the safety, ethics and integrity of gymnastics (age, gender, equipment, scoring, etc.); and 
  • support and provide athlete and child rights guidance on the formulation of rules, regulations, policies, procedures and practices.

The GEF was set up in January 2019 by the FIG, gymnastics' world governing body, following the abuse case involving Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor serving decades in prison for abusing hundreds of young female athletes. 

You can view the full Gymnasts 2028 document here

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