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Shaping the Future of Gymnastics: European Union extends suspension of Russian and Belarusian athletes, British gymnastics introduces new safeguarding rules

Shaping the Future of Gymnastics: European Union extends suspension of Russian and Belarusian athletes, British gymnastics introduces new safeguarding rules

Baku, December 1, AZERTAC

In a significant shift within the international gymnastics community, the General Assembly of the European Gymnastics Union has voted to continue the suspension of Russian and Belarusian athletes from international tournaments in 2024, according to BNN Breaking.

This decision, announced by the organization’s press service, reflects the ongoing complexities surrounding the geopolitical tensions involving Russia and Belarus.

The decision to exclude athletes from Russia and Belarus remains a contentious issue, stirring dialogue within the sports fraternity. The decision by the European Gymnastics Union underscores the intersection of politics and sports, where geopolitical tensions can ripple into the realm of athletic tournaments. It also signals the Union’s firm stance on the matter, potentially influencing the fabric of international gymnastics competitions in the coming year.

Meanwhile, in a move to combat harmful practices within the sport, British Gymnastics has rolled out new safeguarding rules. The governing body is taking measures to eliminate methods it deems ‘on the fringe of abuse,’ such as the weighing of athletes. These changes come in the wake of the 2022 Whyte Review, which unveiled ‘systemic’ physical and emotional abuse within the sport. The review focused on the period from 2008 to 2020 and noted that more than 40 percent of the submissions described physically abusive behavior towards gymnasts by their coaches.

Gymnastics, a sport celebrated for its grace, poise, and precision, has traditionally included weighing as part of its regimen. However, the British Gymnastics’ new rules seek to redefine this practice. Athletes over 11 can only be weighed with their consent, and parental consent is required for those under 18. This ground-breaking move aims to tackle the recorded pattern of abuse and ensure a safer environment for athletes, thereby reshaping the future of the sport.

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