Former US snowboarder accuses Olympic coach of sexual harassment

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US snowboarders on the Beijing Olympics have strongly defended their long-serving head coach towards “super upsetting” allegations.

US snowboarders on the Beijing Olympics have strongly defended their long-serving head coach Peter Foley towards “super upsetting” allegations of sexual misconduct and different inappropriate behaviour, saying the accusations broken “team energy”.

US Ski and Snowboard is investigating claims made by Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, who competed on the 2010 Olympics, after she alleged in a sequence of Instagram posts that Foley had “taken naked photos of female athletes for over a decade”.

She alleged that Foley, who has served because the US head coach since 1994 and is at present with the group in Beijing, had made a sexual comment to her when she was solely 17 in 2014.

“US Ski and Snowboard has been made aware of the recent allegations,” an announcement learn. “We take these allegations very seriously and the allegations are being investigated.”

Veteran American snowboarders Lindsey Jacobellis and Nick Baumgartner, who gained gold within the inaugural combined group snowboard cross occasion on Saturday, defended Foley whereas Baumgartner stated he was “like a father” to him.

“It’s definitely been super upsetting to have that when we’re trying to focus and it definitely breaks up our team energy a little bit,” stated the 36-year-old Jacobellis, who’s competing at her fifth Olympics.

“Of my 20 years on the team, I can speak very highly of his character.”

Chythlook-Sifsof additionally accused 30-year-old snowboarder Hagen Kearney, who’s competing in Beijing, of intimidating behaviour and utilizing racist slurs.

“I cannot watch another Olympic Games without saying this publicly,” Chythlook-Sifsof wrote.

“I will not carry this stuff around anymore.

“There was bizarre behavior across the board. The people I’ve named have overtly behaved toxically but the truth is the culture on the team protected this behavior. Things have been normalized that are not okay.

“Other athletes have in engaged in racist, misogynist behavior, actively participated in the strange dynamics that Peter Foley created and caused female athletes/staff to be victims of sexual violence.”

Instagram twice eliminated her posts for violating the social media website’s “guidelines on nudity or sexual activity” and “bullying or harassment”.

Baumgartner, who’s competing at his fourth Olympics on the age of 40, stated it had been “a pleasure and an honour” working with Foley.

“It’s been awesome to see him grow as a person and a coach, and to have him help me grow as an athlete,” he stated.

“I can’t speak any higher about that man – he’s done so much for us. All the coolest moments of my life have been right alongside that gentleman.”

– AFP

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