U.S. SPEEDSKATERS EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL ABUSE JURISDICTION ARBITRATION

The Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act is a United States law (codified at 36 U.S.C. Sec. 220501 et seq. of the United States Code) that charters and grants monopoly status to the United States Olympic Committee, and specifies requirements for its member national governing bodies for individual sports. [Wikipedia]_________________________________________________________________________

Speedskaters Step Up Abuse Allegations Against Coach, by Howard Berkes,Sept 19, 2012

“The abuse allegations against U.S. Olympic short track speedskating coach Jae Su Chun have escalated with a demand for arbitration and an “open and ongoing investigation” by police.

“19 active and former short track skaters, including five Olympic medalists, have filed complaints and grievances with U.S. Speedskating (USS) and the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC). They allege physical, verbal and psychological abuse, and insulting and intimidating comments directed at women skaters.

“Simon and Kirkpatrick told the detective that other skaters did not report to the police because they “accept this as standard practice and … were scared that [complaints] may hinder their progress in the skating program.”

“Both skaters were told to gather more specific information, including dates and times of incidents. They were also told that the suburban Salt Lake City police agency would only investigate incidents that occurred in its jurisdiction.

“This is an open and ongoing investigation,” the police report concludes.

“The release of the report came as an attorney for the skaters filed a “Demand for Arbitration” with the American Arbitration Association and U.S. Speedskating.

“The filing contains “further and more specific allegations of abuse and other coach misconduct,” says attorney Edward Williams. But Williams declined to provide the filing document or describe the additional allegations.

“Williams wants an arbitration hearing held and concluded before his clients begin to compete next week in the opening short track competition of the season at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, Utah. Athletes train at the oval and most live in Utah so they can train there.

“The athletes hope that, with today’s filing of a Demand for Arbitration … U.S. Speedskating will realize it can no longer defend the abusive conduct of their coaches, much of which occurred in their very own facility and in the presence of USS Staff, and was reported to USS by the athletes,” Williams says.

“Chun was replaced temporarily by assistant coach Jun Hyung Yeo, who is also named in the complaints and grievances filed by the athletes. U.S. Speedskating says none of the specific incidents of abuse alleged by athletes mentioned Yeo but Williams says the Demand for Arbitration is more specific about Yeo’s alleged role.

“Williams also says the 14 active skaters who are part of the dispute have been boycotting official National Racing Program (NRP) practices and have been training instead with private coaches in the Olympic Oval’s FAST program. They will not skate for Chun or Yeo, Williams says, if they continue as coaches
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“An arbitrator has decided that U.S. speedskaters who alleged emotional and physical abuse by national team coaches had jurisdiction in arbitration in the matter.

Arbitrator Jeffrey Benz also wrote in his decision that the speedskaters won’t have to pay fees related to the cost of filing arbitration in the case.

Were I not to find that jurisdiction existed here, essentially Claimants would be without a timely or effective remedy to have their case heard and decided on an expedited basis, basically forcing them to choose between competing or not competing under the scheme they found so difficult and offensive,” Benz wrote.

Fourteen U.S. speedskaters alleged that short-track coach Jae Su Chun verbally, physically and psychologically abused them. Chun, a former coach of South Korea’s national team, and assistant Jun Hyung Yeo, resigned from their positions with the U.S. national team in October. They had been suspended through the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

An investigation, conducted by law firm White & Case on behalf of U.S. Speedskating, concluded that the coaches had not engaged in a pattern of physical or emotional abuse toward the athletes.

The White & Case investigation also looked into allegations that U.S. speedskater Simon Cho tampered with a Canadian rival’s skates at a competition. Cho said he tampered with a competitor’s skates at the direction of his coaches.

Benz, the arbitrator, wrote in his decision that administrative filing and case service fees of the American Arbitration Association will be paid by U.S. Speedskating. The federation also will pay $22,374 of the $25,445 in fees and expenses of the arbitrator. Claimants in the case include several skaters competing in the current World Cup season, including 2010 Olympic medalists Travis Jayner and JR Celski.

The athletes’ attorney, Edward Williams, said the arbitrator’s decision was “precedent-setting” because of the jurisdiction and fee-shifting award.

“This is the first decision ever which addressed the issue of jurisdiction in this type of context where the athletes were alleging that there was a controversy involving their opportunity to participate based on hostile work environment,” Williams said Wednesday.

The decision could have an impact on future cases involving athletes who allege abuse and who seek resolution through the arbitration process. [Roxanna Scott, USA TODAY Sports7:45p.m. EST December 19, 2012]

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606. S.2727 : Amateur Sports Act
Sponsor: Sen Stevens, Ted [AK] (introduced 3/10/1978) Cosponsors (17)
Committees: Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation; House Judiciary
Senate Reports: 095-770 House Reports: 095-1627
Latest Major Action: 11/8/1978 Public Law 95-606.
[THOMAS, In the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, legislative information from the Library of Congress]

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The Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act of 1998 (which I’ll refer to as “the Act” for the rest of this post) is a source of a huge amount of confusion and controversy as it relates to our sport.

Thus, the Act empowers the USOC to create procedures to protect the rights of athletes.

[Urruly, Matt Knowles on the Racing Rules of Sailing October 26, 2010]

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§220501
CHAPTER 2205—UNITED STATES OLYMPIC COMMITTEE
Amateur Sports Act §220505

(9) sue and be sued, except that any civil action brought in a State court against the corporation and solely relating to the corporation’s responsibilities under this Act shall be
removed, at the request of the corporation, to the district court of the United States in the district in which the action was brought, and such district court shall have original jurisdiction over the action without regard to the amount in controversy or citizenship of the parties involved, and except that neither this paragraph nor any other provision of this chapter shall create a private right of action under this chapter;

(5) facilitate, through orderly and effective administrative procedures, the resolution of conflicts or disputes that involve any of its members and any amateur athlete, coach, trainer, manager, administrator, official, national governing body, or amateur sports organization and that arise in connection with their eligibility for and participation in the Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games, the Pan-American Games, world championship competition, the Pan-American world championship competition, or other protected competition as defined in the constitution and bylaws of the corporation; and

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In 1978, the passage of The Amateur Sports Act (now The Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act – revised in 1998) as federal law appointed the USOC as the coordinating body for all Olympic-related athletic activity in the United States. It specifically named the USOC coordinating body for athletic activity in the United States directly relating to international competition, including the sports on the programs of the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games. The USOC was also given the responsibility of promoting and supporting physical fitness and public participation in athletic activities by encouraging developmental programs in its member organizations.

The act included provisions for recognizing National Governing Bodies for the sports on the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games programs and gave the USOC the general authority, on a continuing basis, to review matters related to the recognition of NGBs in the act. This public law not only protects the trademarks of the IOC and USOC, but also gives the USOC exclusive rights to the words “Olympic,” “Olympiad” and “Citius, Altius, Fortius,” as well as Olympic-related symbols in the United States.
[2012 United States Olympic Committee]

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Amateur Sports Law

Membership is voluntary. The NCAA operates along a series of bylaws that govern the areas of ethical conduct, amateur eligibility, financial aid, recruiting, gender equity, championship events and academic standards. The NCAA has enforcement power and can introduce a series of punishments up to the death penalty, the full shut-down of a sporting activity at an offending college.

Title IX is an increasingly important issue in college sports law. The Act, passed in 1972, makes it illegal for a federally funded institution to discriminate on the basis of sex or gender. In sports law, the piece of legislation often refers to the effort to achieve equality for women’s sports in colleges. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is charged with enforcing this legislation. This agency implemented a three-prong tests for schools to adhere to: (1) Are the opportunities for female and male athletes proportionate to their enrollment; (2) Does the school have a history of expanding athletic opportunities for women; (3)Has the school demonstrated success in meeting the needs of its students. In 1995 the Gender in Equity Disclosure Act was passed to require schools to report annually the information publicly on male-female athletic participation rates, recruiting by gender, and financial support. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown University v. Cohen, is an important aspect of litigation for women sports.

Unlike intercollegiate sports, international amateur sports are run by a variety of organizations. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is made up of each country’s Olympic Committee, which in turn recognizes a national governing body (NGB) for each Olympic related sport. The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is the national governing body for all U.S. athletes in the Olympic and Pan-American Games. The IOC is the international governing body for the summer and winter Olympic Games. A critical piece of federal legislation, the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, guarantees certain due process rights including a hearing and an appeal for U.S. athletes under the governance of the USOC and its NGBs. The subject of drug testing especially in international sports like cycling and track and field is under the jurisdiction of each sport’s NGB and international federation, the USOC, the IOC, and the World Anti-Doping Agency. The final arbitrator in resolving drug related disputes is the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).
[Wikipedia]
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CITE- 36 USC CHAPTER 2205 – UNITED STATES OLYMPIC COMMITTEE 01/03/2012 (112-90)

-EXPCITE- TITLE 36 – PATRIOTIC AND NATIONAL OBSERVANCES, CEREMONIES, AND ORGANIZATIONS
Subtitle II – Patriotic and National Organizations
Part B – Organizations
CHAPTER 2205 – UNITED STATES OLYMPIC COMMITTEE

-HEAD- CHAPTER 2205 – UNITED STATES OLYMPIC COMMITTEE HEAD- Sec. 220526. Restricted amateur athletic competitions

-STATUTE- (a) Exclusive Jurisdiction. – An amateur sports organization that conducts amateur athletic competition shall have exclusive jurisdiction over that competition if participation is restricted to a specific class of amateur athletes, such as high school students, college students, members of the Armed Forces, or similar groups or categories. (b) Sanctions for International Competition. – An amateur sports organization under subsection (a) of this section shall obtain a sanction from the appropriate national governing body if the organization wishes to – (1) conduct international amateur athletic competition in the United States; or (2) sponsor international amateur athletic competition to be held outside the United States.

-SOURCE- (Pub. L. 105-225, Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1475.)

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