Rowing Canada signs safe-sport agreement on heels of damaging independent study


Rowing Canada has signed an agreement to hitch Abuse-Free Sport, three weeks after an independent report revealed a toxic atmosphere within the sport.

The nationwide federation will be capable of entry the brand new Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner following a transition interval that can finish no later than Dec. 13.

“The sport neighborhood is in want of a constant nationwide protected sport program and it is a nice step ahead for everybody concerned in sport in Canada,” stated Jennifer Fitzpatrick, Rowing Canada’s director of partnerships and sport improvement. “We stay up for working with the [Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada].”

Canada’s ladies’s eight crew rowed to gold on the Tokyo Olympics, persevering with the custom of excellence in Canadian rowing. But athletes complained a few toxic atmosphere beneath the floor, prompting a third-party investigation by Rubin Thomlinson LLP.

Three-time Olympic gold medallist Marnie McBean known as the outcomes of Thomlinson’s report “surprising.”

In an Instagram submit, McBean quoted the report’s findings: Over 50 per cent of folks surveyed describe their expertise with RCA’s high-performance atmosphere as adverse; over 85 per cent of folks surveyed witness, skilled or heard maltreatment; and over 25 per cent of these surveyed would not report maltreatment.

“These outcomes must be a transparent indicator to RCA board members that rowing isn’t being managed properly by its management and that change is required instantly,” McBean wrote. “When are they going to simply accept the proof that has been introduced to them?”

A member of Canada’s Olympic group advised The Canadian Press she was recovering from an consuming dysfunction attributable to her unhealthy relationship with former nationwide ladies’s coach Dave Thompson, who was fired in February 2020, 5 months forward of the unique begin date of the Tokyo Olympics. The dismissal got here after a 2019 criticism filed towards him underneath Rowing Canada’s Prevention of Abuse, Harassment and Bullying Policy.

Thomlinson’s scathing report on its investigation, launched Oct. 3, discovered that Thompson’s adverse have an effect on on this system, and the shortage of transparency from RCA round his dismissal, was one of the largest points and left an enduring blow.

Rowing Canada’s announcement Friday got here on the heels of one other embattled federation, Gymnastics Canada, asserting it had signed on with OSIC.

Canada’s first sport integrity commissioner, Sarah-Eve Pelletier, started receiving and addressing complaints of maltreatment in sport on June 20. Canada’s sport minister Pascale St-Onge has given nationwide sport organizations till April to sign on or threat shedding federal funding.

Rowing took one other hit final week when the game was dropped from the Canada Games program for 2025.

RCA stated it has adopted the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS), which is a requirement earlier than it could possibly turn out to be half of the Abuse-Free Sport program, and that the transition interval will embody “continued updating of our protected sport insurance policies.”

Rowing Canada stated that previous to Dec. 13, members who’ve skilled or witnessed abuse can entry third-party companies by Lisa MacLean of Wiser Workplaces.


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