Human rights review into gymnastics abuse

The Australian Human Rights Commission will investigate cases of abuse with Australian gymnastics after a host of athletes detailed abuse during their careers.

A human rights watchdog will investigate cases of mental and physical abuse in Australian gymnastics.

At least 20 former gymnasts, including Olympians and Commonwealth Games medal winners, have recently told of a toxic culture within the sport.

Gymnasts have used social media platforms to detail fat-shaming and other forms of physical and mental abuse during their careers.

The outpourings prompted Gymnastics Australia to ask the Australian Human Rights Commission to examine the sport's culture and practices.

"Over the last couple of weeks athletes have shared their personal experiences ... many of those experiences are, quite simply, not acceptable," Gymnastics Australia chief executive officer Kitty Chiller said on Thursday.

"They reinforce the need for more to be done to change the culture of gymnastics."

Chiller said the human rights commission would review all aspects of the sport.

"The commission's independence ensures the integrity of the review and the commitment made by everyone at Gymnastics Australia to genuinely listen and learn from our athletes and the gymnastics community," she said.

"It also provides confidence to those who have more to contribute or who have not yet spoken that their experiences will be heard by an independent team of professionals.

"The review will build an understanding of the culture of gymnastics in Australia and any barriers there may be in reporting behaviours that go against what we stand for - zero tolerance of any form of abuse."

The commission would detail the review process within weeks.

"The commission will facilitate a series of listening and focus groups, seek written submissions and conduct interviews to understand athlete, both past and present, experiences," Chiller said.

The review, due to be completed by March next year, was welcomed by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).

"Committing to an independent review of policies, practices and governance structures sends a strong signal to the gymnastics community and indeed the broader sporting community of their (Gymnastics Australia) commitment," AOC chief executive Matt Carroll said.