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Safe Sport and the Gymnastic Olympic Trials

So this is interesting and what NBC was able to find out while doing this investigation is a bit daunting.

Obviously this isn’t directly related to equestrian but how another Olympic sport works with SS and faces their challenges is worth a read.

Em

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The attorney here - Russel Prince - was also Maggie Kehring’s attorney, if I recall correctly. He’s clearly represented victims in the past as well, and I would think any criticism he has of SafeSport processes is well informed, balanced and fair.

The Orange County Register has been reporting on major SafeSport related cases and issues tied to multiple different sports for years. And again… looking at it from all sides. I think they have been pretty fair as well.

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I’m not convinced that safe sport will do much, if anything, about misconduct that is not sexual. Despite what the training says.

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Even if they wanted to, I would have to imagine that whatever resources they have are probably so overwhelmed with cases involving sexual misconduct that those have to be prioritized over anything else.

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Surely the body who hired judges must have heard about the whole problem with this person? Why would they hire her to be a judge for this level of competition?

On top of this, Al Fong (Evey Lowe’s coach at trials) has been under Safe Sport investigation for four years and he’s still coaching elite. https://www.ocregister.com/2023/02/16/al-fong-under-investigation-by-u-s-center-for-safesport/amp/
It’s an older article but as far as I know nothing has changed. This plus his history (Christie Heinrich and Julissa Gomez) makes me question a lot of things.

And as for why they would hire Anna Li, the requirements to be a brevet level judge are really high so the pool of available judges is very small. USAG still doesn’t care about propriety and appearance as much as they should so they’re going to pick her to judge until they’re not allowed to. Whether Li is guilty or innocent it’s not a great look having her as a judge while she’s under investigation but USAG is gonna USAG

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To compare this to USEF… one of the primary people in charge of implementing safe sport training requirements for USEF in 2018 was actually “safe sported” for sexual misconduct with a minor. This individual was reported to USEF twice, once in 2013 before being on the task force, and then 5-6 years later, with the second report “sticking”. He was banned for life in 2019, which was then overturned in binding arbitration and limited to 7 months, already served.

He was a TD at the Kentucky and Badminton three day events earlier this year.

The kind of people who do these things have zero shame, and I have a lot of thoughts about the people who enable their continued work in the sport.

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They actually have suspended Maggie Haney, coach of Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, for what ended up being 4 years due to physical neglect and mental abuse. So they will do it if there’s enough overwhelming evidence. But it’s not all that common. And the investigation there took years as well.