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  • now to controversy in the world of sports, the spotlight has been turned on German gymnastics after allegations of bullying and mistreatment.

  • D W has spoken to two former elite gymnasts who say the problems are much wider than previously reported.

  • Naomi and Ruby Van Dyke learning to love gymnastics all over again For many years, their love for the sport had disappeared.

  • Aged 10 and primed for big things, the twins moved to an elite training center near Cologne.

  • But when their performances dipped, they say they were called fat and lazy by their coach Slims.

  • The fact is, the worst thing was when he said he wouldn't come to competitions with us because we were embarrassing him.

  • When you're 14 or 15, you need a coach who supports you, no matter how badly you do.

  • He always let us down just before the competition, saying You're too heavy, you're embarrassing me.

  • On one occasion during a bars exercise, Naomi said she was purposely dropped on her head to teach her a lesson.

  • Hey pushed me two or three times to go down lower, but I knew he wasn't holding me properly.

  • That's why I didn't go lower and then I did under pressure but he let go of me and said There you see, they complain to the local gymnastics association but say they weren't taken seriously or believed and made to feel they were the problem with devastating effects on their development.

  • E still remember when I was 14?

  • I just didn't want to wear my gym outfit anymore.

  • I always thought everything about me was wrong.

  • How I look, where I come from, what I do, how I talk, who I am.

  • So it really hurt me as a person back then.

  • So many personal tranfer Let's.

  • In a statement, the local association, the Rheinische A Tournament, said it was quote surprised by the allegations, adding The RTB takes the allegations raised very seriously and will clarify the facts as soon as possible.

  • At the time, Naomi and Ruby were given three options either put up with the coach, quit the sport auras.

  • They ended up doing, moved to the Olympic training center in cabinets.

  • Earlier this month, problems there were uncovered by Der Spiegel magazine.

  • A dozen other gymnasts accused the head coach and cabinets Gabriella Fraser, of bullying them and making them train through injury.

  • Naomi and Ruby say painkillers and injections were handed out freely without prescriptions and without the knowledge of athletes parents.

  • But the twins felt they couldn't speak up because of the baggage they'd come with because we were always told we were annoying or we were the problem.

  • We didn't want to be a nuisance way, just wanted to show we were actually hard working on.

  • So that's why we didn't mention a lot of things.

  • Ba for Ruby.

  • That acceptance came into price that she was forced to ignore her constant back pain, with one coach telling her it was just pre competition nerves.

  • She would often tell me I was imagining the pain in my back that I didn't know the difference between saw muscles and really pain that went on for a year and a half, and at some point I believed I was imagining it to It wasn't her imagination.

  • Though Ruby, having been denied access to her Emmett scans, would eventually need an operation.

  • Fraser, who has been suspended pending an investigation, has called or the allegations baseless and says she never overstepped the mark.

  • It was her strong denials that prompted Naomi and Ruby to tell their story.

  • Waken definitely confirm these aren't baseless allegations that the other girls have made way.

  • Two or three of them are with us In came nets, and we witnessed how badly they were treated.

  • Way can easily say it's not baseless way.

  • These days the Twins only compete in the National League, no longer dreaming of international success.

  • But at least now they can perform again with a smile on their faces.

  • What that report from VW's Jonathan Crane.

  • He is with us for more.

  • Hi, Jonathan.

  • Good morning to you.

  • How significant are these allegations?

  • I think they are very significant because up until now, in Germany, we'd only heard about problems with one coach, Gabriella Fraser, who we mentioned in the piece.

  • But as Naomi and Ruby told us, they experienced problems with another coach who we're not naming for legal reasons.

  • And also, when they try to them complain to their local association, they were essentially accused of lying.

  • Now, what they've been keen to point out to us is that this is not necessarily about individuals.

  • It s'more a system that allows these individuals toe kind of operating their own bubble with nobody questioning their judgments.

  • Now we've obviously had to put some of these allegations to the German Gymnastics Federation.

  • They say they're looking into all the allegations, including those made by name and Ruby.

  • This is what they've also had to say.

  • It is important that the cases air independently investigated.

  • If the investigations show that structural changes have to be made, the DTB will actively address them.

  • We do not accept any climate of fear in our gyms.

  • Now we're they're encouraging other gymnasts to contact them if they also have problems to report.

  • I think given everything that's happening with this story now, there will be Mawr gymnasts moved to come forward in Germany.

  • Well, these allegations come in something that's been, ah, watershed year.

  • Really?

  • For gymnastics on a whole.

  • Yeah, indeed it has.

  • I mean, these allegations coming out now in Germany follow ah, host of allegations coming from all over the world, and they were prompted really by not documentary on Netflix called Athlete A.

  • Now this kind of really told the story of a brave gymnasts in the United States coming forward to get justice against the disgraced US team gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar he was eventually found guilty of sexually abusing hundreds of gymnasts.

  • He will never now leave prison, and as a result of that gymnast in countries like the UK, the Netherlands, Australia all came forward not necessarily talking about sexual abuse but painting a picture of a really unhealthy culture, perhaps in gymnastics with young girls were talking, bullying, fat, shaming, unhealthy training methods, making them train through the pain eso is worth repeating.

  • This does seem to be a systemic problem.

  • I just want to pick up on the training methods on this idea that painkillers as And they, me and Ruby said, were handed out freely.

  • Now we put that to the German Gymnastics Federation as well.

  • And they said, for any kind of treatment, any kind of painkillers for minors, it does require parental approval.

  • Clearly, in this case, that did not seem to be happening.

  • Well, you've been looking into the allegations.

  • What has some of the response has been here to them?

  • Well, naturally, there has been a bit of push Bacchus.

  • Well, I mean, some people will say, Look, this is elite sport.

  • This is what you expect.

  • It's going to be difficult.

  • It's not easy.

  • You have tow, push yourself and nobody complains when these athletes bring home medals or other rewards.

  • Thomas Visor, who is in charge of the center in Cabinets Hey, told Der Spiegel.

  • It's not a child's tea party gymnastics Now.

  • We tried to get some comment from him.

  • He declined to comment on specific allegations while the investigation is ongoing.

  • But I talked to a Naomi Ruby about this and they said, Sure, we made sacrifices.

  • We trained 30 hours a week.

  • We missed out on social events.

  • We couldn't go shopping with our friends.

  • But where we draw the line is this kind of psychological abuse, these unhealthy training methods.

  • We have to ask them what price?

  • The medals, What price of success on, I think.

  • As Ruby said to me, You know, there has to be another way.

  • Just because we've done things like this in the past doesn't mean to say we should do it like that in the future.

  • Jonathan Crane from DW Sports Thank you for sharing that reporting with us.

now to controversy in the world of sports, the spotlight has been turned on German gymnastics after allegations of bullying and mistreatment.

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German gymnasts open up on abuse and mistreatment | DW News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/12/19
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