Olympic snowboarders sue coach, USOPC and ski federation over alleged abuse

Olympic bronze medalist Rosey Fletcher is among three former U.S. snowboarders suing their ex-coach, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard federation, and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee alleging sexual abuse that they say the organizations covered up, court documents showed.

Fletcher, a 2006 Olympic bronze medalist, Erin O’Malley and Callan Chythlook-Sifsof sued former coach Peter Foley and the sports bodies in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Thursday.

They allege Foley committed sexual assault and battery against them and other women for “nearly 20 years” with the “assistance, permission and endorsement” of the USOPC and the USSS.

The suit, which seeks unspecified monetary damages, alleges Foley exploited his position of trust with the athletes to “coerce sexual acts through force, manipulation, emotional abuse, intimidation, and retaliation.”

“Foley’s abuse was reported to executives of the USSS and the USOPC on numerous occasions by multiple athletes who were coached by Foley, yet no action was taken,” the lawsuit alleges.

In a separate lawsuit filed Thursday, former USSS communications staffer Lindsey Nikola alleged sexual misconduct by Foley.

“We are aware of the lawsuits that were filed,” U.S. Ski & Snowboard said in a statement.

“U.S. Ski & Snowboard has not yet been served with the complaint nor has had an opportunity to fully review it. U.S. Ski & Snowboard is and will remain an organization that prioritizes the safety, health and well-being of its athletes and staff.”

The federation also reiterated in its statement that it had reported allegations of misconduct against Foley to the U.S. Center for SafeSport in 2022.

“This case is currently under investigation by SafeSport, which has full jurisdiction over such matters,” the federation said.

The USOPC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Chythlook-Sifsof went public via social media with allegations of sexual misconduct against Foley in February 2022, when Foley was coaching the U.S. team at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

She said on her Instagram account that “Peter Foley has taken naked photos of female athletes for over a decade” and made a sexual remark to her and a teammate when she was only 17 at Lake Louise, Canada, in 2014.

Foley received support last February from snowboarders on the Olympic team. He was fired by USSS in March after he was temporarily suspended by the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

© 2023 AFP


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