GENEVA (AP) — A world-wide network of athletes’ unions published research Tuesday aimed at better protecting young people in sports following sexual abuse scandals in gymnastics and soccer.
About 300 international athletes, including some Olympians, shared their experiences of abuse and intimidation they suffered and witnessed as minors for the Census of Athlete Rights Experiences report.
The document, which details how government and sports bodies can help safeguard children, was presented at an online conference hosted by the World Players Association and National Basketball Players Association.
“We want real change and we want the cycle of abuse to stop,” said Andrea Florence, project coordinator for the Switzerland-based World Players, whose members represent professional athletes in more than 60 countries.
The research was a two-year project with Loughborough University in England.
It followed the sentencing of Larry Nasser, the former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor, to decades in prison for multiple sexual offenses involving athletes and children.
“The U.S. gymnastics case has been a catalyst for change and for survivors to speak out throughout the world,” Florence told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
A bullying culture in gymnastics has been investigated recently in countries including Australia, Japan, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
In English soccer, decades of systematic abuse of boys in youth teams linked to…