Two German female gymnasts at the European championships didn’t make the podium on Friday but grabbed the headlines for wearing bodysuits rather than leotards in a sport plagued by abuse scandals.

Elisabeth Seitz and Kim Bui, who were fifth and seventh in the all-around competition, donned outfits which fully covered their arms and legs.

The idea is to “feel good and stay stylish,” said German teammate Sarah Voss who also wore a full bodysuit earlier this week in the tournament.

On her Instagram account, she explained: “When puberty started, when I had my period, I started to feel more and more uncomfortable.”

“When I was a little girl I didn’t see the tight fit as a big problem,” she added in an interview with German broadcaster ZDF.

Seitz said Friday that taking off the leotard and replacing it with an all-body outfit is “an important signal”.

Russia’s Angelina Melnikova, a silver medal winner on Friday behind compatriot Viktoria Listunova, described the Germans’ black and purple outfits as “unusual but pretty”.

The world of gymnastics has been rocked by a series of scandals in recent times.

In the United States, former team doctor Larry Nassar was found guilty of sexually assaulting at least 265 identified victims over two decades, including star Simone Biles.

In Britain, accusations of abuse have made headlines while in Greece former gymnasts complained of having suffered decades of abuse “akin to torture” at the hands of one of their coaches.