While Gymnastics Australia deserves some credit for pre-emptively commissioning the Australian Human Rights Commission inquiry into its coaching practices and administrative fails, it shouldn't have needed a third party to tell it something was very wrong.
It seems until the release of the Athlete-A documentary last year there was very little appetite for asking embarrassing questions which would expose the widespread emotional, physical and sexual abuse of mostly young girls dating back many decades.
The Netflix program about investigations into the USA Gymnastics program prompted a surge of stories by former gymnasts on social media. It also started an international conversation which would almost certainly have resulted in some focus on Gymnastics Australia's past and current practices.
Many of the organisation's administrators, coaches and even some parents would surely have been aware children as young as seven and eight were being verbally and physically abused, intimidated and starved on a systematic basis.
This was apparently the price people were prepared to pay in an organisation now found to have believed winning was everything and that the ends justified the means.
Sportsmanship and respect for the young charges placed in Gymnastics Australia's care clearly took a back seat to producing the all-important results.
The unfortunate consequence is that hundreds, possibly thousands, of mostly young women and girls have suffered lasting physical and emotional harm as a direct result.
To say the AHRC report is damning would be an understatement, particularly given the vulnerability of the pre-adolescent girls who bore the brunt of much of the abuse. Young people who had started off loving gymnastics were left hating their sport, in terror of their coaches and loathing themselves.
The story of "Elizabeth", a former gymnast who trained at the Australian Institute of Sport and who gave evidence to the inquiry, is particularly horrific. She is one of a group of nine former AIS gymnasts now considering legal action against the institute.
"Elizabeth" told journalists she and other gymnasts were touched on their genitals and breasts by a coach at the AIS more than 20 years ago.
"He would be saying "squeeze your bum, squeeze your bum", and while he's saying this he was squeezing, using his hand and squeezing our bums," she said. "He would run his hands down the inside of our thighs until he touched our vaginas".
When "Elizabeth", an Olympic hopeful who had started training at the AIS when she was 11 in the late 1990s, reported the coach to police for verbal, mental, physical and sexual abuse many years later the case went nowhere. Police told her there wasn't enough evidence and that in any case the coach had left the country.
If this is true then it wasn't good enough then and it certainly isn't good enough now. While the AHRC was not empowered to investigate specific allegations state and federal police forces certainly are.
The report, which contains 12 strong recommendations and which found coaching practices still in use "create a risk of abuse and harm to athletes", details numerous activities that could clearly be considered criminal.
These need to be investigated with a view to identifying and prosecuting possible perpetrators in order to send a very clear message such conduct cannot, and will not, be tolerated.
That is arguably even more important than the apology that has already been issued and the eventual implementation of all the AHRC recommended root and branch reforms.
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