Threat Of Decertification Looms Large Over USA Badminton
The USOC said that it "would be appropriate to decertify" USA Badminton because of the "'severity' of its continued deficiencies regarding athlete safety, financial and accounting practices and governance," according to Scott Reid of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. The USOC has given USA Badminton until July 15 to "make a series of wide ranging reforms or the USOC will begin proceedings to strip USA Badminton of its NGB status." USOC Associate General Counsel C. Onye Ikwuakor said that those reforms "must include 'significant' changes in USA Badminton’s staff and board of directors." While USOC and USA Badminton documents "detail widespread the NGB’s failings, the USOC’s threat of decertification is also part of a wider plan" by USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland to "restore accountability and transparency to NGBs" in the wake of the Larry Nassar and USA Swimming sexual abuse scandals. USA Gymnastics, USA Diving and USA Boxing have "received similar letters." The USOC "first raised the possibility of terminating USA Badminton’s NGB status last fall after a USOC audit found the NGB had failed to complete criminal background on nearly half the individuals required to undergo such screening under USOC policies" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 4/19). This latest development comes after the USOC began reviewing an allegation that USA Badminton improperly gave a major donor a board position that is supposed to be reserved for people without financial connections.