Gymnastics coach who referred to Amy Tinkler as a ‘fat dwarf’ is helping select British Olympic team

British Gymnastics coach under investigation after being accused of describing Olympic medallist Amy Tinkler as a ‘fat dwarf’, which reduced her to tears when she was 17, is helping to select Team GB’s Tokyo team

  • Colin Still is accused of using the term ‘fat dwarf’ in an email to Amy Tinkler
  • He was placed under investigation by British Gymnastics in September last year 
  • Still was not suspended and remains a national coach with the governing body
  • He will have a vote on which four women will go to this summer’s Tokyo Games

The gymnastics coach accused of using the term ‘fat dwarf’ in an email to Amy Tinkler is helping to select the British Olympic team for Tokyo.

Colin Still was placed under investigation by British Gymnastics in September last year after Rio 2016 bronze medallist Tinkler revealed emails she received from him in 2017, when she was 17.

However, Still remains a national coach with the governing body and Sportsmail understands he will have a vote on which four women go to this summer’s Games after selection trials in Cardiff this weekend.

Coach Colin Still (pictured) was placed under investigation by British Gymnastics last year

Still staying in his role has been criticised by Gymnasts for Change, the campaign group set up by current and former gymnasts after allegations of abuse in the sport surfaced last summer.

A spokesperson for Gymnasts for Change told Sportsmail: ‘British Gymnastics is in dire need of reform. If we’re to rebuild the sport we love, we need a sweeping culture change which results in those engaging in poor practices being removed from positions of influence that place gymnasts at risk of harm.’

It is not yet clear whether Still will be part of Team GB’s coaching delegation in Tokyo, but chef de mission Mark England warned last summer: ‘In terms of staffing, we are quite clear that anybody who is under investigation would not be part of Team GB.’

Amy Tinkler has spoken out about the abuse she felt she suffered at British Gymnastics

Tinkler was Team GB’s youngest medallist in Rio but retired from gymnastics in January 2020 after lodging a complaint about the weight-shaming abuse she suffered in the sport. Last September, she posted screengrabs on social media of emails she was copied in on between Still and team nutritionist Mhairi Keil.

In one email, Still said Tinkler ‘already looks a little heavy’ and later, after being told he had misinterpreted data on the gymnast’s height and weight, he added: ‘I will get back to my skiing knowing that Amy is not turning into a fat dwarf!’

At the time, a British Gymnastics spokesperson said: ‘This is extremely worrying. A coach should not be speaking this way about a gymnast. We have immediately begun an investigation.’

However, Still was never suspended and remains an influential figure in the British women’s set-up.

Head women's coach Amanda Reddin temporarily stepped aside amid the controversy

Head women’s coach Amanda Reddin temporarily stepped aside amid the controversy

A British Gymnastics spokesperson said: ‘All complaints relating to a current employee are passed to our HR department and dealt with in accordance with our employment policies and procedures.

‘Employment law and contracts require us to deal with these confidentially so we are unable to provide any update on the complaint, specifically as to whether any action has been taken.’

A spokesperson for Tinkler said she has not heard from British Gymnastics and was under the impression Still remained under investigation.

The current status of head women’s coach Amanda Reddin, who temporarily stepped aside from her role last August following complaints about her conduct, is unclear.

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Chelsea boss Tuchel targets historic double of FA Cup and Champions League glory

‘The job is not done. We want to go to Istanbul and win’: Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel targets historic double after FA Cup finalists beat Real Madrid to book showdown with Manchester City in Champions League final

Thomas Tuchel urged his team to complete a historic double as Chelsea stormed past Real Madrid to set-up a mouth-watering all-English Champions League final.

The Blues produced a dominant display against the Spanish giants to clinch their place in this month’s Istanbul showpiece against Premier League champions-elect Manchester City later this month.

Timo Werner and Mason Mount scored the crucial goals to cap a stylish performance from Chelsea – who are now on for a historic European and FA Cup double.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel celebrates with goalkeeper Edouard Mendy

But Tuchel insists reaching two finals is not enough: ‘We need to arrive in the final in a good moment and a good atmosphere – it’s not done yet. We want to go all the way, we go to Istanbul to win. The job is not done yet, we are in two finals now.

‘I’m very proud, they deserved to win tonight. They made us suffer but we were dangerous and we never lost the hunger and desire to defend.

‘It was a huge performance and we could have scored so much more – but now is not the time for criticism because it’s a fantastic achievement. Massive congratulations.

Timo Werner opened the scoring after Kai Havertz's attempt came back off the crossbar

Timo Werner opened the scoring after Kai Havertz’s attempt came back off the crossbar

‘To hang in there and never lose concentration. Huge. This was a performance full of spirit, hunger and positive attitude. Absolutely delighted.’

The German has become the first coach to reach consecutive Champions League finals with different teams having finished runners-up with Paris Saint-Germain last season.

‘I’m happy we achieved this. I’m very grateful to live my life in football, to do it on this level, and coach a team like this and reach the final again, I’m very grateful,’ said Tuchel.

‘Every sacrifice, every single day has been worth it to be at this amazing club. I’m very grateful to be at the sideline of this club.’

Thibaut Courtois could only watch as Mason Mount's strike made its way into the net

Thibaut Courtois could only watch as Mason Mount’s strike made its way into the net 

Chelsea face Manchester City in the Premier League this weekend in a game that could provide an indication of how the final may pan out.

The Blues beat City to reach the FA Cup final last month and Tuchel said: ‘The semi-final doesn’t give us upper hand, but it can give us confidence and a good feeling.’

Goalscorer Mount echoed his manager’s sentiments by insisting reaching the final isn’t enough, saying: ‘The most important thing is we won tonight but it’s not there yet and there’s one game left. I haven’t won anything yet. So hopefully we’ve got two massive cup finals and hopefully we can win.

‘I can’t put it into words at the moment. It was a great performance on a tough, tough night.

Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount (right) celebrates after sealing their place in the final

Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount (right) celebrates after sealing their place in the final 

‘You know what they’re like, they will come and give it everything. We worked hard and could have had about five.

‘It was 1-0 but it didn’t matter because if they scored they’re back in the game. It was good to get that late one, you can see by the celebrations.

‘It was a massive goal for us and gave us breathing space in the last five minutes.

‘We gave it everything, we had that desire and we wanted to win. You can see in the first-half we could have countered and scored but we got the one late on.’

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Becky Downie’s hopes of making Team GB’s team for Tokyo Olympics take hit in row over equipment

Becky Downie’s Olympics hopes suffer blow following row with British Gymnastics over the equipment being used at selection trials with fears athlete is being ‘sabotaged’ after speaking out on abuse in the sport

  • Becky Downie’s hopes of making Team GB for Tokyo Olympics taken a big hit
  • Row over equipment to be used at the final trials has proved to be a setback
  • Insiders fear Downie is being sabotaged for speaking out on abuse in the sport
  • The 29-year-old is a medal prospect and is likely to retire after the Games 

Olympic medal prospect Becky Downie’s hopes of making the team for Tokyo have been hit after a row with British Gymnastics over the equipment being used at this weekend’s selection trials.

Downie, who won a silver medal on the uneven bars at the 2019 World Championships, is fighting to be one of the four women picked by Team GB for the Games when she performs at the all-important behind-closed-doors trials in Cardiff.

However, the 29-year-old has suffered a setback after British Gymnastics controversially ruled that Gymnova equipment must be used at the final trials rather than Spieth, which had been an option at other selection competitions this year.

British gymnast Becky Downie suffered a blow to her Olympic hopes in an equipment row

The 29-year-old won a silver medal on the uneven bars at the 2019 World Championships

The 29-year-old won a silver medal on the uneven bars at the 2019 World Championships

The late and unexpected change is significant for Downie as Gymnova’s uneven bars are straight, whereas Spieth’s are angled like the Senoh ones being used at Tokyo 2020.

Downie had been training on angled bars in preparation for the Games, but on Gymnova apparatus she will be unable to perform the potential gold medal-winning routine she had been working on for weeks and must learn a new one instead.

Insiders fear that Downie is being ‘sabotaged’ because she spoke out about her and her sister Ellie’s experiences of abuse in gymnastics when the scandal first broke last summer.

A source told Sportsmail: ‘It feels as if Becky is being set up for failure. Coaches are not happy with them for speaking up and those coaches are still in positions of power.

‘The refusal to bring the Olympic equipment that they have to their final trial, impacting Becky more than anyone, is utterly petty and indicates clear intent.’

Hinting at her frustration in a tweet, Downie wrote: ‘With this one, you broke me.’

Insiders fear Downie is being set up for failure after speaking out on abuse within the sport

Insiders fear Downie is being set up for failure after speaking out on abuse within the sport

In another post, she said: ‘Torn between training incredibly well and feeling in the shape of my life vs having to deal with the most difficult scenario that affects everything I’ve worked so hard for.’

There are also fears that British Gymnastics’ selection policy for the Games, which states ‘potential to medal at Paris 2024’ as a factor for nomination, favours younger gymnasts over Downie, who is likely to retire after Tokyo.

She faces competition from 17-year-old Amelie Morgan, who won bronze in the bars at the European Championships in April, and 20-year-old Alice Kinsella, a former European beam champion.

Downie’s sister Ellie, 21, is also hoping to gain selection, as are 16-year-old Jessica Gadirova, who won three medals at the recent Europeans, and her identical twin sister Jennifer.

British Gymnastics and Downie were approached for comment.

17-year-old Amelie Morgan recently won bronze in the bars at the European Championships

17-year-old Amelie Morgan recently won bronze in the bars at the European Championships

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George North ruled out of Lions’ summer tour of South Africa after suffering serious knee injury

George North ruled out of Lions’ summer tour of South Africa after suffering serious knee injury as ‘heartbroken’ Wales star tweets ‘Sport can be cruel’ ahead of surgery

  • George North is no longer in contention for Lions’ upcoming tour of South Africa
  • He ruptured his ACL while playing for Ospreys against Cardiff Blues last week
  • News will come as a huge blow for Warren Gatland as North prepares for surgery
  • Wales star North tweeted ‘Sport can be cruel’ as he announced the news to fans 

Wales star George North is out of contention for the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa after confirming he has suffered a serious knee injury.

It is a major blow for Lions head coach Warren Gatland, who names his squad next week.

North was hurt during Ospreys’ victory over Cardiff Blues last weekend, and he tweeted: ‘Sport can be cruel.

‘We all know the risks when we take the field. Unfortunately, I ruptured my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) on Saturday and will need surgery next week. Heartbroken is an understatement.’

The normal recovery period for such an injury is six-nine months.

The Ospreys said: ‘The Ospreys can confirm wing George North has suffered an ACL injury to his right knee and will be ruled out for the rest of the season.

‘The Wales wing saw a specialist in London earlier this week and will undergo surgery next week.’

North, 29, was widely tipped for a starting place in Gatland’s Test team against the world champion Springboks.

He had been switched from wing to outside centre with great success by Wales head coach Wayne Pivac this season and played a key role in Wales’ Guinness Six Nations title-winning campaign.

North has won 102 caps for Wales and played in all three Lions Tests against Australia eight years ago.

It is a second setback in 24 hours for Gatland after Wasps and England lock Joe Launchbury saw his Lions selection hopes ended, also by a ruptured knee ligament.

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