Award-winner in spotlight amid ‘win at any cost’ accusations
EDDIE VAN HOOF, the head coach of the elite men’s gymnastics programme, has been suspended for alleged misconduct.
The 61-year-old Yorkshireman was UK Coaching’s coach of the year in 2016 after the men’s team won five medals at the Rio Olympics, including two golds for Max Whitlock.
Van Hoof also shared the high-performance coach of the year prize with the Great Britain para-swimming squad’s head coach Rob Greenwood, who has since been accused of bullying athletes by an independent investigation for British Swimming.
In a statement, British Gymnastics said: “An independent investigation is being conducted into allegations of misconduct relating to Eddie van Hoof, pending the outcome of which he has been suspended.
“The suspension is not a disciplinary penalty and indeed does not imply any assumption of guilt. We will not be making any further comment at this time.”
The specific allegations against the coach, who competed as a gymnast for Team GB at the 1984 Olympics, are not known.
However, the news comes only three weeks after British Gymnastics chief executive Jane Allen published an open letter on its website denying there was a “win at any cost” mentality at the sport’s Lilleshall base.
That letter was a response to media reports about various issues within the sport, including a row with leading gymnasts over their contracts and claims of misconduct by unspecified coaches.
“We want to make the nation proud but ‘how we win’ is just as important,” wrote Allen, who has run the sport since 2010.
“This administration has never had a desire to win at any cost and under my leadership I expect the athletes’ welfare to be given the highest priority.”