FIG has said its 10 Golden Rules of Gymnastics aim to ensure "a safe and respectful environment" following a series of damaging abuse scandals ©Getty Images

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has responded to abuse scandals in the sport by releasing "10 Golden Rules of Gymnastics," an awareness campaign providing principles for participation which it claimed is with the goal of ensuring "a safe and respectful environment".

It admitted "changing people’s minds cannot be done overnight with a magic wand,"  and insisted "it will take time" to move away from "old, harmful training methods".

Several athletes have spoken out about abuse and mistreatment they received, becoming widely reported after last year's release of the Netflix documentary Athlete A.

This examined the Larry Nassar scandal and safeguarding shortcomings in United States gymnastics.

The disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor was accused by hundreds of athletes of committing abuse, and is serving up to 175 years in prison for his crimes committed under the guise of medical treatment.

Four US gymnastics stars, including Olympic gold medallists Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman, last week called for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee Board of Directors to be dissolved over how it handled the case.

The US Department of Justice confirmed earlier this month it would launch a new investigation into the Federal Bureau of Investigation's alleged botched inquiry into abuse committed by Nassar.

Scandals have also hit British Gymnastics with a group of athletes alleging systemic physical and psychological abuse from coaches, including against children as young as six, and the Hellenic Gymnastics Federation after 22 athletes published a latter in April claiming they had suffered decades of abuse at the hands of coaches.

Gymnasts in other countries such as Australia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland have also spoken out about their own traumatic experiences.

FIG held an online conference in October 2020 in which it agreed to develop a Code of Conduct, including drawing "a clear line between what is acceptable and what is intolerable in Gymnastics halls" and promoting an awareness campaign, including key principles for ensuring the safety of athletes.

The sport's global governing body said athletes, coaches and officials provided feedback on early drafts, and from June the 10 Golden Rules have been refined by the Safeguarding Working Group which includes 15 current or former athletes.

Each of these Golden Rules are set to be promoted by FIG on a daily basis at this month's World Artistic and Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Kitakyushu in Japan.

The first of the Golden Rules is "I do gymnastics for fun," followed by "I pursue my own dreams, not someone else's."

"I know that I will have good days and tough days" stands as another principle, as does "I will listen to my body" and "I balance my passion for gymnastics with other big goals in my life."

The campaign emphasises "my health is more important than medals," and "I have the right to be respected as I am".

The final Golden Rules are "I have the right to express myself freely, be heard and be treated fairly," "I understand and respect the roles of the people around me," and "I act with fairness and integrity".

FIG has called on the gymnastics community to spread the campaign through social media and by placing the poster with illustrations from Swiss cartoonist Zep in gyms.