USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy Explained

USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy Explained

Safe Sport - Ohio Fitness Garage

USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy Explained 

As the governing body for gymnastics in the United States, USAG has a responsibility to provide policies and guidelines that will protect gymnasts and gymnastics professionals across the country from potential situations of abuse. In the summer of 2017 USAG paired up with the U.S. Center for Safe Sport to revise previous policies and to adopt the Safe Sport Code. With this new partnership, all allegations of sexual misconduct will be reported to the U.S. Center for Safe Sport and to law enforcement professionals to conduct investigations into each instance reported. All other reports of abuse will be handled by USAG.

What is USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Abuse?

There are several forms of abuse identified by the new Safe Sport policies. These include;

  • Emotional Abuse
  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Bullying
  • Hazing
  • Harassment

Sometimes in sports, it’s difficult to define abuse. For example, if a gymnast is given 100 frog jumps for giving up on a skill…is that abuse? Or is it coaching? Safe Sport has done a great job of defining abuse in each of its forms. For a detailed explanation of abuse, check out the USAG Safe Sport Policy in its entirety here.

It is important to note that reports of abuse to USAG and to Safe Sport do not replace reporting of abuse to local law enforcement officials. When applicable reports should be made to USAG as well as law enforcement.

Who is Covered by USA Gymnastics Safe Sport?

All professional members and pending professional members of the USAG are covered by Safe Sport and are required to report instances of abuse that are witnessed or that are reported to them. All athletes, medical staff, USAG board members, event staff, and any additional staff or volunteers who are contracted or hired to work around gymnasts also are covered by, and are required to report occurrences or reports of abuse. Parents and spectators also are encouraged to speak up if they witness behavior that may be abusive.

How does USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Offer Protection from Retaliation:

It is not uncommon for athletes who experience or witness abuse to hesitate to report the abuse for fear of retaliation. Safe Sport encourages these athletes to come forward by outlining repercussions for any covered party who attempts to retaliate against an individual for making an allegation of abuse. Suspicion of or witnessing of any repercussions against individuals for alleging abuse should immediately be reported to Safe Sport.

Any covered individual who is found to be in violation of ANY Safe Sport policies, after the conduct of a thorough investigation, will face one or many of the following actions;

  • Written warning
  • Assignment to educational programs
  • Assignment to behavioral programs
  • Loss of privileges
  • Probation
  • Suspension – temporary or indefinite

All these potential actions are imposed by USAG and Safe Sport and do not reflect any additional actions that may be imposed by local law enforcement officials.

 

More Post from Heather Traves

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