British Gymnastics CEO Allen to retire

14 Oct 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

British Gymnastics CEO Jane Allen will retire in December, standing down from the role after more than 10 years.

The national governing body has confirmed that a new interim CEO will be named ‘in the near future’.

The news comes during an independent investigation, co-commissioned by UK Sport and Sport England and led by Anne Whyte QC, into allegations of mistreatment of athletes at all levels of the sport.

However, British Gymnastics has said that Allen’s retirement was part of a pre-planned agreement and due to take place after the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The organisation’s Chair, Mike Darcey, said those plans then changed when the event was postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the mistreatment claims came to light in July.

Darcey said: "The whole Board would like to thank Jane for her dedicated service to the sport. We had originally agreed with Jane that she would retire following the Tokyo Olympic Games in the summer of 2020, but that was extended to help British Gymnastics through the initial impact of coronavirus and then the subsequent worrying news about abuse claims. 

“Prior to her departure, Jane will be working with our legal team on our initial submission to the Whyte review."

In a statement, Allen added: "The last few months have been extremely difficult, but I 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. 

“I would like to thank everyone involved in the sport for the work they do to help our members succeed both at an elite and grassroots level. The Whyte Review will be an important step forward for gymnastics and other sports struggling to deal effectively with these issues. It is vital that this happens in a fair and transparent manner for all parties and I pledge my support to helping the sport to do that."

In July, UK Sport and Sport England took over the investigation into athlete abuse, after a number of high profile gymnasts spoke out against mistreatment within the sport.