Alastair Marks will serve as interim chief executive of British Gymnastics from early January ©British Gymnastics

British Gymnastics has announced Alastair Marks is set to become the national governing body’s interim chief executive in early January.

Marks will take over from outgoing chief executive Jane Allen, who is due to retire in December.

Allen’s departure from the troubled governing body was announced last month.

British Gymnastics said she had initially agreed to retire following the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this summer, but that was extended to help British Gymnastics through the initial impact of coronavirus and emerging abuse claims within the sport.

Marks assumes the interim chief executive position prior to the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics and at a time when the organisation has been rocked by multiple allegations of bullying and abuse in recent times.

An independent review into British Gymnastics is currently underway, overseen by UK Sport and Sport England.

British Gymnastics says Marks has been a non-executive Board director since late 2018, where he has contributed to the commercial strategy of the organisation.

The governing body highlighted his experience in marketing, commercial, fundraising and participation.

He will join from Nielsen Sports where he is business development director, having previously held senior roles at the Lawn Tennis Association, Rugby Football Union, McDonald’s, Sainsbury’s and Norwich Union.

An executive search process will commence to find a permanent chief executive, while Marks is in the interim post.

The search will be led by British Gymnastics chair Mike Darcey.

Outgoing chief executive Jane Allen will retire next month ©Getty Images
Outgoing chief executive Jane Allen will retire next month ©Getty Images

"It is vital that we get the appointment of a new permanent chief executive right at this important time for our sport," Darcey said.

"I am delighted that Alastair has agreed to take on the role on an interim basis to allow that to happen.

"The organisation needs stability in the short term until the Whyte Review reports and Alastair provides both an understanding of British Gymnastics and an external viewpoint."

Barrister Anne Whyte, who has experience in investigating non-recent and institutional forms of abuse, is leading the review into British Gymnastics.

Whyte is set to investigate the period from August 2008 to August 2020.

The review will investigate the nature and volume of complaints received by British Gymnastics, including allegations of mistreatment, sexual, mental and physical abuse, bullying, harassment and discrimination.

The approach taken by British Gymnastics to resolving complaints, reasons for any delay in complaints being raised, and the adoption and application of safeguarding and complaints procedures will also be investigated.

The culture and practices of British Gymnastics, including its registered clubs, in relation to its treatment of gymnasts and consideration of their welfare will be reviewed.