OTTAWA – May 19, 2022 – Gymnastics Canada recently learned through the media of the comments made by Ms. Spadafora and Athlete B posted on the “Global Athlete” twitter feed regarding the Gymnastics Canada complaint management process that they participated in. We share the concern of the time it took to work through the complaint management process to get a final verdict in favour of the Claimants in this specific Case. The length of time for any Case to move from “allegations” to “investigation” to “discipline” is not dictated by Gymnastics Canada at all – it is dictated by the rigour of the policies and the management of each part of the process by independent professional experts and Panels.
Gymnastics Canada has been and remains open to consider additional ways to support Claimants throughout the complaint management process while maintaining the integrity of the process. We fully agree with Ms. Spadafora on the value and support provided by Ms. Bellehumeur (as the Victim Advocate) to all the Claimants throughout this Case. In fact, pursuant to its obligations under the relevant Policy, Gymnastics Canada paid the expense for Ms. Bellehumeur’s services.
Gymnastics Canada over the years has taken several measures to ensure the wellbeing of participants, including a full update of policies, procedures and education protocols in 2018. As the fundamental movement sport with the vast majority of our participants being children and youth under the ages of 14, we have made an expressed commitment to proactively mitigate and manage risks. It is important for us to know when things don’t go well and, as leaders, we care deeply about restoring trust among those that have been harmed. We recognize that much can be learned from all Cases and we encourage the Claimants to continue to provide feedback so that we can together eradicate maltreatment in sport. As the sector continues to address gaps and inadequacies in the management of safety in sport, Gymnastics Canada will continue to support and endorse the creation of an independent complaint management process through the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre (SDRCC).
For more information, contact:
CEO, Gymnastics Canada
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First established in 1969, Gymnastics Canada has been supporting the mastery of movement in Canada for five decades as the national governing body for the sport of gymnastics in Canada. We work closely with the twelve provincial federations and 700 local clubs to provide a broad range of programs and services to meet the needs of all participants. From athlete development to coach and judge education, Gymnastics Canada sets the operating standards and practices for the sport in Canada. Our mandate is to promote and provide positive and diverse gymnastics experiences through the delivery of quality and safe gymnastics programming. Visit www.gymcan.org for more information or follow us @gymcan1. From here, we soar.