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Abuse in Sport

38 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 10 July 2012

It was the Paul Hickson scandal in the mid 90s which first brought the issue of sexual abuse in sport to the public eye. The Olympic swimming coach was jailed for 17 years for raping and sexually abusing young girls he trained. The case led to the setting up of the Child Protection in Sport Unit and the introduction of safeguarding measures in most sports.

But, more than a decade on, the problem hasn't gone away and this edition of File on 4 reveals new figures which show how many allegations of sexual and physical abuse were made across most major sports last year.

The programme also examines concerns about the way information about coaches who have disciplined or banned, is shared with parents and other sports bodies, primarily because of data protection laws. It reveals how some coaches accused of sexual misconduct are able to move between sporting organisations and carry on coaching
Reporter Chris Buckler also hears calls from families and child welfare charities for a change in the law to make it illegal for coaches to have a sex with athletes aged 16 or 17 which would bring them in line with teachers and others who have close contact with young people

Presenter: Chris Buckler
Producer: Paul Grant.

  • Warning over sex abuse in sport

    Warning over sex abuse in sport

    Leading sports bodies call for action to ensure crucial child protection information is shared.

    Read Chris Buckler's article on the BBC website.


    On the eve of the Olympics, Chris Bucker investigates the extent of sexual abuse of athletes across sport and asks if enough is being done to tackle the problem

    Read the Transcript


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    File on 4

    A podcast offering Radio 4's award winning, flagship investigative series File on 4.

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