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Former gymnasts settle claims for reported childhood abuse by banned coach and ex-Olympian Stan Wild

Two former gymnasts have settled legal claims with gymnastics clubs after reporting childhood abuse by coach and ex-Olympian Stan Wild who has been given a lifetime ban by British Gymnastics. 

Posted on 22 February 2024

The former gymnasts, who were aged between 9 and 14 years old at the time they describe being abused by Wild with the alleged abuse taking place between about 2004 and 2015, have settled their civil claims against British Gymnastics and York City Gymnastics Club respectively. 

Wild competed for Great Britain at the 1968 Olympic Games and the 1972 Olympic Games, in addition to World, European and other championships. He also carried the Olympic torch through York as part of the 2012 London Olympic Games. 

Wild was suspended from gymnastics from 2015 due to allegations of abuse, and he was banned for life from gymnastics in December 2020. It was only in September 2023 and after Anne Whyte KC’s Report that British Gymnastics decided to publicly announce on their website that Wild had been banned for life from gymnastics. The reason given for Wild’s expulsion was “safeguarding investigation”. 

The two former gymnasts who claim to have suffered abuse by Wild welcome British Gymnastics naming coaches who have been expelled from the sport for alleged abuse, but say an explanation should be provided. They say it is not enough to only offer “safeguarding investigation” as a reason for Wild’s ban. The British Gymnastics’ list does not specify at which club or gymnastic organisation Wild or any of the other banned gymnast coaches worked. 

The two gymnasts turned to Leigh Day abuse claims partner Dino Nocivelli to bring a civil claim against British Gymnastics and York City Gymnastics Club respectively, where Wild was a coach. Dino conducted significant research and spoke to as many witnesses as possible to support his clients’ allegations that Wild had abused them. 

Following a period of discussions with the Defendants’ legal teams, Dino was able to enter into settlement agreements which included compensation for the psychiatric injuries they claim to have suffered. A written apology from British Gymnastics has been made, along with the opportunity for one of Dino’s clients to meet with senior members of British Gymnastics to discuss the impact of the abuse on their lives and what needs to change to better protect gymnasts going forward. 

The case has settled without a confidentiality clause or non-disclosure/gagging order, but one of the clients has chosen not to waive their anonymity. 

Dino will appear on an ITV documentary and ITV News on 22 February 2024 to discuss the reports of abuse within gymnastics.  

Dino Nocivelli said: 

“Abuse in sport is sadly something that I have seen many examples of as an abuse claims lawyer, and there is a lot more to come out in respect of abuse in gymnastics and the repercussions of these assaults on children.  As a society, we have to ensure that Anne Whyte KC’s recommendations are implemented in full and that IICSA’s recommendations are also carried out to better protect children.  It is important that abuse by gymnast coaches is exposed and that survivors are finally able to obtain a sense of closure for the abuse they suffered.” 

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Abuse claims Human rights

Dino Nocivelli

Dino is an experienced child sexual abuse claims lawyer

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