US gymnastics scandal prompts new ethics body

Lausanne (AFP) –


World gymnastics chiefs on Wednesday announced a sweeping set of measures, including the creation of an independent investigative body, following the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal in the United States.

The international gymnastics federation (FIG) said it had undertaken a review "of its policies and rules, and strengthened its legal tools to better prevent any new cases and to assist the victims".

The creation of a Gymnastics Ethics Foundation will be put to a vote of the body's national member federations at the next congress, to be held in Baku in December.

This body will be made up of a safeguarding section, including a helpdesk for reporting any case of harassment or abuse, a disciplinary section and a compliance section.

"The FIG has a long and rich history of which the gymnastics family is rightly proud. There can be no pride, though, without the highest respect for the principles of good governance and ethical compliance," said FIG president Morinari Watanabe.

"Our aim is to become a role model for good governance and compliance in the world of sport. Such a structure will allow us to better protect the athletes as well as the federations of each country."

Former US national gymnastics team doctor Nassar was accused of sexual assault under the guise of treatment by more than 265 women, many of them former US Olympians.

He is serving a 60-year prison sentence for child pornography and has pleaded guilty to 10 charges of sexual assault.