Pinsent, a former IOC and current British Olympic Association member, felt children were being pushed beyond acceptable limits in pursuit of excellence.
He described children in pain while training and claimed a boy had been beaten by his coach, he said.
“It was a pretty disturbing experience. I know it is gymnastics and that sport has to start its athletes young, but I have to say I was really shocked.”
The choice of Beijing to host the Games has been condemned in some quarters because of the country's poor human rights record.
Only three days ago the IOC's medical commission published guidelines on the training of elite child athletes. (more)