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Canadian gymnasts call for probe into sexual abuse, toxic culture

A bunch of 71 present and former Canadian gymnastics nationwide staff members have requested the director-general of Sport Canada to launch an inquiry into the game’s nationwide governing physique’s “toxic culture” as a result of they “can no longer sit in silence.”

According to a number of Canadian media retailers, an open letter was despatched to Vicki Walker on Monday, saying loads of complaints have been made towards Canadian coaches in non-public, however the worry of retribution prevented them from talking out for almost a decade.

“We are coming forward with our experiences of abuse, neglect and discrimination in hopes of forcing change,” the letter mentioned. “We ask Sport Canada to take action to ensure the next generation of Canadian gymnasts is not subject to the physical and psychological trauma that we have had to endure.”

“Over the previous 5 years alone, there have been a number of complaints about and even arrests for numerous types of emotional, bodily and sexual abuse. The topics of those complaints have been Canadian coaches, lots of whom we had been uncovered to as minors at GymCan sponsored coaching camps, provincial/nationwide competitions, and nationwide staff assignments.

“We know that there are many more examples of harm that have not yet come to light, and we know that abusive behaviors continue in gyms across this country today,” the letter acknowledged.

“The current Board and CEO of GymCan have failed to address these issues and have failed to earn the trust and confidence of athletes. Their inability to adequately respond to ongoing systemic abuse, mistreatment, and discrimination is troubling.”

The letter comes 4 years after disgraced former USA gymnastics physician Larry Nassar was sentenced to greater than 300 years in jail after molesting over 200 younger gymnasts.

The Nassar scandal has rocked the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, the place the physician additionally labored. Several prime officers have resigned amid the fallout, and the case has prompted a number of investigations into whether or not complaints towards the physician had been ignored.

Rose Cossar, a rhythmic gymnast who competed for Canada on the 2012 London Olympics, mentioned she hope the letter will open up conversations across the difficulty of sexual abuse, which can have a profound impression on minors.

“I really want to emphasize that gymnastics is a sport of children,” Cossar was quoted as saying by the Canadian Press.

“We all begin once we’re very younger. I began once I was 5. You spend extra time together with your coaches than you do together with your mother and father. You journey the world together with your coaches, generally you reside with them, it’s a really intimate setting.

“When you develop up in that form of poisonous surroundings, it has lasting results in your life. That’s your developmental phases, you don’t have any sense of id or confidence or of what’s proper and improper. You’re extraordinarily weak.

“It took me years to realize that a lot of the things that were happening were not OK. I did the sport for 16 years, probably the last six years of my career is when I started reporting things. The first 10 years, I was just in the thick of it,” she added.

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