The two-time Olympian at the centre of child abuse allegations has been interviewed by police.
YorkMix reported last month that British Gymnastics had expelled York gymnast Stan Wild, five years after he was first suspended.
These actions followed complaints to police about alleged sexually inappropriate behaviour by Mr Wild, who founded the York City Gymnastics Club in 1974.
The first complaint was in 2008 but no action was taken by police. Ten years later, following another complaint, the Crown Prosecution Service decided to take no further action “due to there being insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction”.
However, Mr Wild, 77, has now been interviewed by detectives.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “Detectives from our Non-Recent Abuse Investigation Team have interviewed a 77-year-old man from York in connection with child abuse complaints from the 1970s and 2000s.
“Following questioning he was released under investigation.
“The two women who made the complaints are receiving specialist support while police enquiries continue.”
Mr Wild denies the allegations and has never been charged with any offence. He declined to comment further.
How to contact police
The force asks anyone with information that could assist the investigation to call them on 101, select option 1, and speak to the Force Control Room.
If you wish to remain anonymous, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or make a report online.
Please quote reference number 12210119102 when providing details.
Pushed to the floor
Last night BBC Look North broadcast interviews with a woman and a girl who say that they were sexually assaulted by Stan Wilde at York City Gymnastics Foundation, when he was their coach.
You can see the full report on BBC iPlayer.
Nikki O’Donnell, who has waived her right to anonymity, told the programme she was sexually assaulted multiple times between the ages of nine and 14 at the club.
She said the abuse included groping and touching her chest and bottom and said Mr Wild would also enter the gym’s changing room when she was undressing.
Ms O’Donnell was the one who reported the abuse to police in 2008. They investigated, but no action was taken and Mr Wild was allowed to carry on coaching.
In 2016, another girl complained she had been abused by Mr Wild at the York City Gymnastics Foundation and he was then suspended.
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told Look North: “I was sat on a bench and he said, ‘there’ll be no more kisses for anyone’ and I sort of went, ‘yes’ because I was happy about it.
“He pushed me back onto the floor with him on top of me and his chest against my chest and then pretended to kiss me again in front of everyone, which just made me feel really embarrassed and uncomfortable.”
Mr Wild represented Great Britain in gymnastics at both the 1968 and 1972 Olympics, and represented his country 26 times in total.
In 2012 he carried the Olympic torch along Rougier Street on the York leg of its journey around Britain.
York City Gymnastics Foundation say that Mr Wild is no longer connected to their organisation.
It said in a statement: “The individual concerned has had no involvement with the organisation for a number of years.
“The trustees would like to reassure all our class members and their parents/guardians that the procedures employed by the foundation comply with all aspects of current child protection best practice and have been reviewed by City of York Council.
“We have full confidence that these policies and procedures will robustly safeguard the physical and mental wellbeing of every child participating in the Foundation’s gymnastics activities.
“The foundation places the safeguarding of our participants, volunteers and staff at the centre of everything we do.”
Seeking further support, advice and ways of reporting child abuse
As well as the Police and Crimestoppers, please also consider the following for reporting incidents and seeking help:
- Anyone concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC Helpline for advice on 0808 800 5000. Adult victims of non-recent sexual abuse can also get in touch for support.
- Childline is available for young people on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk
North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Partnership – www.safeguardingchildren.co.uk
City of York Safeguarding Children Partnership (CYSCP) – www.saferchildrenyork.org.uk
Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) – Victims who would prefer not to go direct to the police and are not in immediate danger, can contact Bridge House, North Yorkshire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), on 0330 223 0362, email [email protected] or go to www.bridgehousesarc.org/
You can also contact the Supporting Victims direct at www.supportingvictims.org or call 01609 643100.