SBD/May 19, 2014/Olympics

Grievance Filed Against U.S. Speedskating, Citing Poor Sochi Perfomance

A grievance was filed last week against U.S. Speedskating, with a "laundry-list of allegations, including that federation's training program was a failure and responsible for disappointing results" at the Sochi Games, according to Jared Hopkins of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. The grievance -- filed by a group that includes former U.S. Olympic speedskater Nancy Swider-Peltz -- "blames the USS coaches and staff for the performance, and offered reasons including that it relied too much on high-altitude training; introduced 'last-minute' changes to skaters' equipment; failed to analyze the skaters' needs leading up to the Olympics; and interfered with independent coaches.” Four coaches and administrators “already have left U.S. Speedskating." The NGB "also conducted an internal review, which affirmed reasons for the poor performance included too much traveling and giving skaters new racing suits” just weeks before the Sochi Games. U.S. Speedskating Exec Dir Ted Morris said, "We look forward to the due process of getting this in front of our judicial committee. U.S. Speedskating does not feel the allegations are valid." Hopkins noted the group "wants a re-vote” for the BOD election “because of an alleged conflict of interest.” The grievance also “requests increased transparency in financial and organizational matters, and for the adoption of ethical guidelines and a whistleblower policy” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/17).
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