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Swiss gymnastics team boss suspended during bullying inquiry

BERN, Switzerland (AP) — Amid turmoil after claims of a bullying culture, Switzerland’s gymnastics federation suspended its head of elite sport Wednesday during an external inquiry.

The federation fired two rhythmic gymnastics coaches last month after investigating allegations by former athletes of physical and verbal intimidation.

The decision to suspend elite performance head Felix Stingelin from duty was taken both to protect him during the inquiry and to allow his department to continue work, the governing body said.

“We deeply regret that this temporary measure has become necessary,” Erwin Grossenbacher, the Swiss gymnastics federation president, said in a statement.

The Swiss team led by Stingelin won its first Olympic gymnastics medal in 20 years at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. Guilia Steingruber took bronze in women’s vault.

Training for the Swiss rhythmic gymnastics team was shut down two weeks ago after coaches Iliana Dineva and Aneliya Stancheva from Bulgaria were fired.

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