Dutch top turn coach Gerrit Beltman confesses in the Noordhollands Dagblad that he has physically and mentally abused gymnasts. The 64-year-old coach is still active in sports.
"The behavior I showed is in no way justifiable. I absolutely wanted to win, at the expense of everything, I was very hard on it. I am deeply ashamed now," he says Friday.
"Never have I consciously intended to hit, to scold, to hurt or to belittle. But it did happen. I talked, thought it was the only way to cultivate a top sport mentality. I blame myself for have failed. "
Beltman was accused years ago of assault, bullying and causing psychological problems by former top gymnast Suzanne Harmes, who also lashed out at Frank Louter at the time.
He says in the Noordhollands Dagblad that he is not the only top coach who is guilty of transgressive behavior. "There were, and are, more coaches who have behaved the same way. I was standing next to them in the room, seeing that they were doing the same thing that has now permeated me: mental and physical flogging."
One of those persons is still active within the KNGU gymnastics union, but according to Beltman, the union does not act. "The person is involved in the current Olympic track and has not had to answer for it. Within the union, people are aware, but no action has been taken."