Under-fire British Gymnastics CEO Jane Allen announces retirement amid allegations of abuse and bullying in the sport

Video report by ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott

British Gymnastics' under-fire chief executive has announced she will retire from the role in December amid escalating allegations of bullying and abuse within the domestic sport.

Jane Allen's resignation comes after ITV News revealed a series of abuse allegations from junior to elite gymnasts, with former-Olympic competitors speaking out too of their "traumatic" experiences at the hands of their coaches from a young age.

Rio 2016 bronze medallist Amy Tinkler revealed last week to ITV News that she would "give up her medal" to have not gone through what she had in British Gymnastics.

Tinkler also claimed on social media that as a 17-year-old, she was reduced to tears by a series of emails in which her national coach discussed her weight.

In one email to the national squad’s nutritionist,Colin Still said Tinkler "already looks a little heavy" and after being told he had misread data claimed: "I will get back to my skiing knowing that Amy is not turning into a fat dwarf.”

Mr Still has said he did not "recall" making such comments and that "I feel genuinely devastated if any comments I have made have hurt Amy or any other gymnasts I have coached".

In a statement, Ms Allen described the recent developments as “extremely difficult” and pledged her continued support for the Whyte Review, a joint UK Sport and Sport England investigation established in August to address the mounting claims.

ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott has more on the fallout of the announcement:

However, she said she will "look back on my time with British Gymnastics with great pride for the growth and success we have sustained over a ten-year period".

Allen intended to retire after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but agreed to extend her time at the helm due to the delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and to help deal with the abuse claims.

Allen assumed the role with British Gymnastics in 2010 after 13 years in an equivalent position with Gymnastics Australia.

  • Olympic gymnast Francesca Fox reacts to Ms Allen's announcement, she say she should 'take responsibility'

She presided over an unprecedented period of success including a record seven medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and was awarded an MBE for services to the sport in this year’s New Year’s Honours List.

But she increasingly found herself at the centre of abuse allegations both at elite and club level, with almost 200 gymnasts registering complaints to a joint British Athletics Commission and NSPCC helpline.

In July, Allen admitted she was “appalled and ashamed” by allegations of bullying and abuse within the domestic sport, and applauded the “bravery” of those speaking out.

The following month, it was announced that she was temporarily standing down from her role on UK Sport’s major events panel to avoid perceived conflicts of interest over the Whyte Review.

Amanda Reddin has temporarily stepped down from her role as national coach pending a separate investigation into allegations of improprieties, which she vigorously denies.

"In a statement, sports governing body British Gymnastics said: "After over 10 years with British Gymnastics, Jane Allen MBE is to retire as Chief Executive in December.

"An interim Chief Executive will be announced in the near future...

"During her time in the role she [Jane Allen] delivered a period of significant transition in which British Gymnastics restructured, rebranded and revised its strategic priorities, leading to an increase in participants at both a grassroots and elite level.

"She has also played an important role in lifting the profile of British Gymnastics by working with the international gymnastics community to help guide and grow the sport worldwide."