Athletes for Equity in Sport Inc. (www.AthletesForEquity.org) recently announced its “commitment” to all participants in sports subject to the jurisdiction of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and its related national governing bodies (NGBs) and affiliates, with the following mission statement:
“To ensure that any person involved in the investigation and disciplinary process related to misconduct in amateur sports subject to the jurisdiction of the USOPC and its related NGBs and affiliates is afforded participation in a fair and equitable process, minimizing damage to reputation until final adjudication of any alleged offense on the merits.”
“Athletes for Equity in Sport is the brainchild of athletes, coaches and other participants in sport confused by the lack of equity and the opaque conduct of oversight bodies such as SafeSport,” said Diane Carney, President of Athletes for Equity in Sport. “Our goal is to ensure that SafeSport and similar organizations abide by the basic rules of fairness and accountability that all athletes and coaches are entitled to.”
Athletes for Equity in Sport was formed by a group of concerned athletes, coaches, clinicians and other participants at various levels of Olympic qualifying sport “to effectuate changes to the existing SafeSport process and similar processes used by NGBs and USOPC affiliates.”
With an initial focus on SafeSport, Athletes for Equity in Sport’s goal is to introduce vital safeguards to the present process, including:
“ Reform SafeSport’s current process, which too often now operates behind-closed-doors, to ensure fairness, transparency, accountability and equity to all participants in sport.
Ensure that SafeSport handles complaints consistent with specific and transparent guidelines for investigative procedures.
Put in place checks and balances to provide for investigative oversight by a disinterested third-party monitor.
Establish guidelines to ensure that investigators perform their work fairly, judiciously and in a manner that protects the reputations, businesses and other relationships of all involved.
Ensure that SafeSport’s decisions are based upon well-reasoned findings of fact supported by probative and credible evidence elicited from all involved parties.
Take steps to guarantee that there is a mechanism in place to select and compensate arbitrators in a manner that maintains their status as independent actors (not captives of SafeSport, NGBs and USOPC affiliates) to protect the parties from bias.”