British gymnastics have come under fire for their decision to hold a men’s training camp in Dubai amid the lockdown.
Former England gymnast Nicole Pavier, now a nurse at a hospital affected by Covid-19 cases, said she would like decision-makers at the governing body to see what NHS workers are going through in order to assess what point travel is “essential”.
“It’s really irresponsible and dangerous to do this in the situation we find ourselves in,” said Pavier, who is one of the many gymnasts to take legal action against British Gymnastics for alleged abuses it has. suffered during his stay in sport.
“We are in a nationwide lockdown for a reason. I don’t think the decision makes any sense and I would love for UK gymnastics leaders, or top people in sport who think these training camps are essential, to come to the hospital to see this that we see. It’s like a war zone, it’s horrible.
She added: “It’s not essential to travel to another country when they could all have gone and bubbled up at Lilleshall if they really needed to train together. While traveling around the world, only one of them was able to test positive and spread it. Everyone has an obligation to ensure the security of the country. I think it’s really poor.
European gold medalist Dominick Cunningham drew criticism after posting a picture of his training squad in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai was removed from the list of UK travel corridors on Monday after cases in the region rose 52%.
British Olympian Jennifer Pinches, founder of Gymnasts for Change, tweeted: “I’m looking for a rational explanation and I’m failing! Aren’t we in a nationwide lockdown with the spike in COVID cases in the UK and in Dubai? I don’t understand how it is safe or ethical to send gymnasts and coaches abroad British Gymnastics? “
In December, British gymnastics avoided the possibility of participating in the European Championships in Turkey, due to the threat of coronavirus and the training interruptions that gymnasts had faced before the tournament.
In a statement, British Gymnastics said: “With the qualification process for Tokyo set to resume in a few weeks – like many sports and in line with government guidelines on elite training – we have offered gymnasts the opportunity to participate in a solid training block in a secure facility controlled by Covid while reintroducing them to travel and preparation in a squad environment.
“The Dubai training camp was completely optional. All those who have chosen to attend have pledged to comply with the strictest Covid regulations, including the formation of a pre-trip bubble that will remain throughout the trip, passing several tests before departure and being tested all both days in Dubai. The delegation traveled with a Covid-19 officer, physiotherapist and sports doctor to support and apply all Covid management protocols.
He added: “There has been extensive reflection on continuing the training camp, but with the strict measures put in place, combined with the willingness of the athletes present to intensify their training in this environment, the choice was made. move forward. As always, we continue to follow the latest government guidelines on elite sport and adjust our plans going forward as necessary.
Elite athletes attending a British track and field training camp in Dubai have also come under criticism and Celtic Football Club apologized this week for their own tour of Dubai last month.