The Swiss Gymnastics Federation (STV) has implemented a ban on photographers capturing photos of gymnasts that could be deemed “suggestive.” Their aim is to ensure that photographs of gymnasts focus solely on their poses and positions.
In their updated guidelines, the STV states, “To protect gymnasts, the STV aims to prevent the publication and distribution of suggestive or otherwise ethically sensitive photos.
This includes photos where gymnasts are pictured in a manner that highlights their crotch.” The federation acknowledges that such photos may occur in action shots but advises against their publication. The STV’s main concern is to raise awareness among media professionals and to use common sense.
According to the new guidelines, photos of gymnasts in positions where their legs are spread upwards on apparatus like balance beams or uneven bars will be prohibited.
However, if a gymnast is in a split pose, permission for photography will depend on the angle and context of the image.
Naomi Kempter, from the Ethics Department at STV, believes that the photography ban is crucial and should have been imposed earlier to safeguard gymnasts from compromising pictures.
When speaking to BILD, she explained, “We wanted to convey that we no longer tolerate such photos. It was high time for action.”
Germany is also taking steps to protect gymnasts and ensure they are photographed only in appropriate poses and angles.
The German Gymnastics Federation has adjusted positions where photographers can stand to discourage photos featuring gymnasts with their legs spread, such as shooting directly in front of an athlete.
If sensitive photos of a gymnast circulate in the media or online, the German federation will directly address the photographer responsible.
In May, Japan introduced its first nationwide laws to criminalize exploitative “photo voyeurism.” This issue is particularly serious at sporting events, where individuals engaged in sneak photography target young athletes dressed in sports attire for sexually exploitative purposes.