(ATR) The International Gymnastics Federation is moving forward with plans for an independent Ethics Foundation designed to prevent harassment and abuse.
The 18th FIG council, meeting in Istanbul on May 11-12, discussed and approved the principles of a new Structure for Ethics and Safeguarding decided by the federation’s Executive Committee.
The FIG says the new Ethics Foundation, which must still be approved by the FIG Congress in December, would include “an Independent Safeguarding Section to deal with all allegations, suspicions and disclosures of all forms of harassment and abuse reported to the Ethics Foundation through its helpdesk and other channels.
“The new Ethics Foundation would also include a Compliance Commission and integrate the existing Disciplinary Commission as well as the Appeal Tribunal.”
The planned changes come as the sport of gymnastics works to better protect athletes following the conviction of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar on more than 150 counts of sexual abuse.
In addition to the ethics changes, the FIG council took an informal vote accepting a proposal to change the federation statutes on gender equality.
The new guidelines, which would also be brought before the FIG congress in December, call for women to make up a minimum representation of 30 percent in the various FIG authorities with full gender equality to be reached by 2028.
Liverpool Awarded 2022 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships
The FIG is sending the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships back to Britain seven years after Glasgow hosted the event.
Echo Arena in Liverpool (McCoy Wynne)
The FIG Council decided on the host city at its meeting in Istanbul. Glasgow staged the worlds in 2015, which the federation viewed as a turning point in the event's presentation.
The 2022 edition takes place at the Echo Arena, a venue which has been hosting the British Championships since 2012.
"The Glasgow worlds became, for the FIG, a reference point for the staging of gymnastics. The bid that British Gymnastics presented us is promising another great event in a city with a real love for the sport, and this is something for us to celebrate," said FIG president Morinari Watanabe.
The 2022 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships will be held a few months after the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
"The world Championships should be a qualifying event for the [Paris] 2024 Olympic Games so expect to see the world's absolute best at Liverpool 2022 including many Olympic stars," said Jane Allen, CEO of British Gymnastics.
It was at the City of Liverpool Gymnastics Club that Elizabeth Tweddle came through to become the first British world champion in artistic gymnastics. Tweddle, the most successful British female gymnast, with a bronze medal from the London 2012 Olympics and three world titles, provided her support for the Liverpool bid.
"I'm thrilled to see this prestigious event coming to my home town. That would have inspired me so much as a young gymnast. To see the world's best competing in my own town is just fantastic. Spectators are in for a treat and I know Liverpool will give all visitors a very warm welcome," she said.
The next three editions of the world championships before Liverpool take place in Doha later this year, Stuttgart in 2019 and Copenhagen in 2021.
Reported by Mark Bisson and Gerard Farek
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