The Gymnastics Ethics Foundation (GEF) has published its 2022 Annual Report, which summarises the key activities of its fourth year of operation. The document provides an overview of important developments in 2022 and the nature and growing number of cases dealt with. Likewise it looks at the Foundation’s collaboration with other organisations and experts; its communication activities; the most important internal processes; and provides an outlook on the next year. The Foundation’s audited financial accounts are also included in the report.
Operational since January 2019, the Foundation has, over the span of four years, dealt with 137 cases: 26 in 2019, 25 in 2020, 41 in 2021 and 45 in 2022. This trend of increasing cases is directly linked to a surge in reporting, which is very likely to continue as the awareness of the Foundation and its independent reporting mechanism keeps growing.
In her message at the beginning of the report, GEF President Micheline Calmy-Rey said:
"The Foundation’s work this year did not stop at the immediate facts reported to us. Our long-standing commitment to the gymnastics community is one of accountability: in other words, when an ethical breach is reported, our investigation and case prosecution is guided not only by the interests of the complainant, but rather by the need to protect all participants in the sport. This calls for a broad understanding of accountability."
She further explained:
"Awareness of abuse without corrective action is viewed by abuse victims as a form of complicity. There is an expectation that not only those who directly inflicted abuse are held responsible: those who were aware but did not take steps to intervene and mitigate damage, in particular those in positions of authority, should also be held accountable."
Meanwhile, the rights and standards of behaviour expected of all participants in gymnastics have been emphasised in the GEF’s strategic framework Gymnasts 2028 launched in March and in the FIG’s new Code of Conduct (from May 2022).
In 2022, as part of its safeguarding mission, the GEF continued to develop its collaboration with other organisations and experts involved in safeguarding, including those representing athletes and survivors, to better serve affected individuals and encourage those who may hesitate to report. The Foundation also sought to find more ways to engage directly and effectively with both current and former gymnasts.
In addition, the Foundation continued to work with National Federations (NFs) on due diligence background checks and encouraged them to contact the GEF when hiring new staff, in particular where certain individuals, who may pose a risk, have been flagged.
Read the full report:
Read the notes to the financial report:
The GEF is an independent body which was established by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) in December 2018 in order to ensure that violations of FIG rules, policies, and procedures, including ethical breaches, are handled in an unbiased way. One of the Foundation’s main missions is to strengthen the safeguarding of athletes and other participants in gymnastics from harassment and abuse.