New allegations of historical sexual abuse made against Brian Phelps
Multiple new historical allegations of sexual abuse have been made against former Olympic diver and gymnastics coach Brian Phelps.
Activist group Gymnasts for Change has been supporting a number of new complainants, who allege they suffered abuse at Olga gymnastics club in Poole when Phelps and his wife Monica were running it.
The new complainants reached out following a report last month from the BBC and the Guardian, in which a survivor of Phelps's alleged abuse spoke out for the first time. Speaking under the pseudonym 'Emma', the woman alleged she was raped and abused from the age of five through to 12 by Phelps, and also emotionally abused by Monica. Both denied the allegations to the BBC and the Guardian.
Since the initial report was published, more women have reached out to Gymnasts for Change, and Telegraph Sport understands around two dozen women are in touch with members of the organisation at this stage with allegations against Phelps.
Former Olympic bronze medallist Phelps is a convicted sex offender who was jailed in 2008 for historical indecent assaults against three children during the 1970s and 1980s - including a six-year-old. He was sentenced to nine years in prison but served just six and, according to the BBC, now lives in France with wife Monica.
Phelps, now 78, reached the podium at the 1960 Rome Olympics and was a two-time Commonwealth champion before moving into coaching. He founded Olga gymnastics and trampolining club with Monica - a former Olympic gymnast - in the 1970s, and the couple have previously commentated on diving and gymnastics for Eurosport.
Speaking to the BBC, the whistleblower accused British Gymnastics of "catastrophic failures" in dealing with this case.
In a statement responding to the news, British Gymnastics said: "We continue to encourage anyone who has suffered abuse, including historic abuse such as this, to come forward and speak to relevant authorities.
"Complaints of this serious and criminal nature should be raised with the police, and we have been liaising with them to help facilitate this for any survivors who have been in touch with us.
"Above anything else, the safety and wellbeing of gymnasts and everyone involved in the sport remains our absolute priority."
The national governing body has undergone a public shaming over the past three years, after dozens of gymnasts revealed their experiences of coaching abuse within the sport. Last June a UK Sport and Sport England funded review, conducted by Anne Whyte KC, laid bare the extent of "systemic" abuse which implicated 90 clubs.
There has been widespread criticism over delays to British Gymnastics' safeguarding processes though and this week Telegraph Sport revealed that none of the 100 coaches reported to the Whyte Review have yet received bans.