Amy Tinkler has critcised the length of time taken to conclude her complaint process ©Getty Images

Olympic bronze medallist Amy Tinkler has criticised the length of time taken by British Gymnastics to reach a conclusion regarding her complaint and suggests this could put other gymnasts in danger.

Tinkler revealed earlier this month that she had retired in January after making a formal complaint to British Gymnastics and not because of injury.

The 20-year-old, who won floor bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympics when she was 16, said her complaint had not been resolved despite being submitted eight months ago.

A second statement from Tinkler criticised the length of time taken by British Gymnastics to rule on the complaint, which relates to South Durham Gymnastics Club and part of British Gymnastics coaching staff.

"I can confirm that the complaint I submitted in December 2019 related to my experience at South Durham Gymnastics Club and against part of the British Gymnastics coaching team,” Tinkler wrote on Twitter.

"I say this now as I've been contacted by girls and parents from the club and the gymnastics community who have told me of similar stories, some of whom have spoken to the media, and others who are still scared to talk.

"I hope by me speaking up again, it encourages those who have yet to share their story to come forward.

"I’ve also been chasing British Gymnastics for a timeline on their investigation into my complaint.

"I understand it could still take four months or more to reach a conclusion, making it nearly 12-months from my original complaint.

"I’m unhappy at the length of time this is taking as it leaves vulnerable gymnasts at risk of abuse from known clubs and coaches.

"I beg British Gymnastics to move swifter and take proactive action about our complaints."

British Gymnastics told the BBC that the governing body had been in regular contact with Tinkler and her mother during the process and said an initial summary of the complaint had been made in December 2019.

The governing body said full evidence was provided in March with the investigation stage now complete.

British Gymnastics added that each complaint is analysed by an integrity unit to assess immediate risk to gymnasts.

"As we have already advised Amy and her family, the investigation phase is now complete and we have moved to the next stage of procedures," British Gymnastics said, according to the BBC.

"To be clear, every complaint is looked at in accordance with our procedures by our integrity unit to assess immediate risk to gymnasts.

"If the evidence available at the time of the initial complaint suggests an immediate risk of harm to gymnasts, we take immediate action to protect gymnasts. 

"These are often complex cases dealing with multiple issues across an elongated timeframe.

"The procedures are in place to protect the integrity of the process and ensure fairness for all parties involved."

South Durham Gymnastics has denied "any allegations of abuse and mistreatment" and has said it has “fully cooperated” with the British Gymnastics investigation.

British Gymnastics has launched an independent review in response to claims made by athletes including sisters Becky and Ellie Downie.

The governing body has stepped aside from any involvement in the review.

The British Athletes Commission and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has launched a helpline to support athletes concerned about alleged abuse within British Gymnastics.

Several gymnasts have published stories of their own experiences, following the release of Netflix documentary Athlete A, which details the abuse scandal in USA Gymnastics involving disgraced former team doctor Larry Nassar and an alleged cover-up by the governing body.

Gymnasts in Australia, Britain, The Netherlands and Switzerland have all made additional allegations of emotional and physical abuse.

The Royal Dutch Gymnastics Federation (KNGU) last week announced its own independent inquiry would take place examining the handling of reports and the effectiveness of measures already taken.

The KNGU has called for the International Gymnastics Federation to hold a worldwide symposium "as soon as possible" to address the negative coaching culture within the sport.

FIG President Morinari Watanabe yesterday published a message praising the bravery of athletes who come forward with stories of abuse they have suffered, while insisting the governing body is working on initiatives to improve the coaching culture in the sport.