Former elite gymnast Eloise Jotischky becomes the first to win a civil case against British Gymnastics for the abuse she suffered during her time in the sport, after she alleged her coach’s techniques left her ‘shaking’
- Eloise Jotischky alleged her coach subjected her to inappropriate techniques
- British Gymnastics have reached a settlement and also admitted full liability
- She claimed she was left ‘physically exhausted’ by the weight management
- The governing body said ‘there is no place for abuse of any kind in gymnastics’
Former elite gymnast Eloise Jotischky has become the first to win a civil case brought against British Gymnastics, according to reports.
Jotischky says that Andrew Griffiths forced her to undergo inappropriate weight managements techniques and verbal harassment whilst her coach at Heathrow Gymnastics Club, and British Gymnastics have now admitted full liability.
The BBC have claimed that the governing body have reached a settlement with Jotischky, who has also received an apology from the organisation’s chief executive.
Now 19, Jotischky worked with Heathrow between the ages of 10 and 14, and trained 25 hours a week. She competed on both the national and international stages, but has stepped away from the sport, placing the blame at her experiences of abuse.
She has alleged that she was left ‘physically exhausted’ as a result of weight management techniques from Griffiths, who is said to have placed her on a diet of just 800 calories for a non-training day and around 1,200 on a training day.
This comes despite the NHS advising teenage girls to consume between 2,200 to 2,500 calories every day. However, Griffiths, Jotischky claims, would ‘weight shame’ her, physically prod her body and tell her that she ‘looked dreadful’.
Eloise Jotischky has become the first to win a civil case brought against British Gymnastics
The governing body (above: CEO Jane Allen) admitted full liability and reached a settlement
‘The weighing sessions could be more than once a week,’ Jotischky BBC Sport.
‘It was every Saturday, but sometimes we’d also be weighed during the week as well if they didn’t like the way we looked.
‘We’d have to line up and step on the scales with everyone else there, and sometimes they’d announce our weight or tell us to step to the side if they weren’t happy with our weight so that they could have a conversation with us afterwards.’
Griffiths would also allegedly ‘shout and scream’ at gymnasts if he was not satisfied with their weight, with Jotischky ‘incredibly anxious’ and feeling sick with stress.
‘We were sitting on the sofa just physically shaking,’ she added. Having a grown man scream over you, it was terrifying.
‘I think being scared from that then contributed to my routine on a Friday night having the hot baths because I was so terrified of what was to come, the consequences of not losing weight.’
Andrew Griffiths’ (above) inappropriate weight management techniques left Jotischky shaken
Despite Jotischky receiving a letter in March confirming British Gymnastics has admitted liability, Griffiths acted as a Great Britain coach at the World Acrobatic Championships. British Gymnastics have said he is now not permitted to coach.
Heathrow have also told the BBC that he no longer works for them.
In a statement, British Gymnastics said ‘there is no place for abuse of any kind in gymnastics’, adding it had recently doubled the size of its safeguarding team.
Heathrow Gymnastics Club said: ‘Andrew Griffiths no longer works for Heathrow Gymnastics Club.
‘The Club has 60 coaches and 1,100 children that participate happily in many gymnastic disciplines.’
BBC Sport has contacted him on several occasions, but did not receive a response.
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