USBA SafeSport Policy

The U.S. Biathlon Association (“USBA”) is committed to creating a safe and positive environment for athletes and participants involved in the sport of biathlon.  It is also committed to creating an atmosphere free of misconduct, including child physical and sexual abuse and other forms of misconduct that do not necessarily involve children. In this SafeSport Policy (the “Policy”) USBA will identify six primary types of misconduct, discuss USBA’s efforts to curb misconduct, and enumerate USBA’s safe sport requirements for certain individuals involved with USBA.

USBA reserves the right to amend this Policy from time to time as necessary. (updated 5/13/19)

 

 

The USBA's Process to become SafeSport Certified

1. Navigate to the SafeSport portal

2. Enter your USBA Member Number

3. Complete the SafeSport Course

 

USBA Commitment to Athlete Safety - SafeSport

This Policy applies to the following individuals (collectively, “Constituents”):

  • USBA employees, coaches, contracted staff, volunteers, board members, committee and task force members, officials, and other individuals working with athletes or other sport participants while at USBA conducted activities, whether or not they are employees of the USBA;
  • USBA Athletes (i) training and/or residing at a USOC Olympic Training Center, (ii) in the USADA registered testing pool (RTP) and/or (iii) at any US Biathlon conducted activity;
  • All individuals, athletes or non-athletes, USBA (or a Local Affiliated Organization) formally authorizes, approves or appoints (i) to a position of authority over, or (ii) to have frequent contact with Athletes; and

Other individuals agreed by the U.S. Center for SafeSport (the “Center”) and USBA to be within the Center’s jurisdiction.

PROHIBITED CONDUCT / ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS (USBA’S MINOR ATHLETE ABUSE PREVENTION POLICY)

  • Constituents shall refrain from all forms of misconduct, which include:
  • Criminal Charges or Dispositions
  • Child Abuse
  • Bullying Behavior
  • Emotional and Physical Misconduct, including Stalking, Bullying, Hazing and Harassment
  • Aiding and Abetting
  • Misconduct Related to Reporting
  • Misconduct Related to the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Process
  • Sexual Misconduct
  • Other Inappropriate Conduct
  • Violation of Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies / Proactive Policies

 

All forms of prohibited conduct are intolerable and in direct conflict with the Olympic Ideals.

Definitions of the foregoing, examples and exceptions may be found in the U.S. Center for SafeSport Code 

Additionally, to the extent a Constituent has regular contact with amateur athletes who are minors, they must abide by USBA’s Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy

 

BACKGROUND SCREENING

 

The USBA requires criminal background screening at least every two years for:

  • Employees and those individuals USBA formally authorizes, approves or appoints to (a) serve a position of authority over or (b) have frequent contact with athletes.  This shall include, but is not limited to, staff, coaches, judges/officials, board members, trainers, independent contractors, medical personnel, and volunteers (excluding those who only have incidental and observable contact with athletes at events); and
  • Other individuals who have regular contact with athletes as determined by USBA, in its sole discretion and/or as required by USOC.

All of the above persons will be collectively referred to as, the “SafeSport Background Screening Pool”.

 

For purposes of clarification, the USBA is considered to formally authorize, approve or appoint an individual in instances where the USBA has control over the appointment process.   

 

If you have a question as to whether or not the background check policy applies to you, please contact USBA Operations.

 

In USBA’s discretion it may bypass this background check requirement for those people in the SafeSport Background Screening Pool who are under 18 years of age.

 

As to members of the SafeSport Background Screening Pool newly taking a role, the USBA requires background screening prior to contact with athletes begins, and in any event within sixty (60) days of the commencement of the new role.

 

The USBA will track all SafeSport Background Screening Pool background screening and perform periodic checks to ensure compliance with this policy.

 

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

 

The USBA requires safe sport education and training for (a) individuals in the SafeSport Background Screening Pool, and (b) all USBA staff (collectively, the “SafeSport Training Pool”), located here: www.safesport.org The USBA also encourages athletes in the US Anti-Doping Registered Testing Pool (RTP) as well as all other athletes and anyone else involved in this sport to take the training. If you are under the age of 18, parental consent is required in order to take the training.    

 

As to members of the SafeSport Training Pool newly taking a role, the USBA requires completion of the education and training prior to contact with athletes begins, and in any event within sixty (60) days of the commencement of the new role.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, to the extent a Covered Individual has regular contact with amateur athletes who are minors, they must abide by the policies and additional training requirements and timelines set forth in USBA’s Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy located HERE

The USBA will track all SafeSport Training Pool education and training and perform periodic checks to ensure compliance with this policy.

 

Additionally, to the extent an individual in the SafeSport Training Pool has regular contact with amateur athletes who are minors, they must abide by the policy and training requirements set forth in USBA’s Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy located HERE

If you have a question as to whether or not it is required of you, please contact USBA Operations

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENT FOR MINOR ATHLETES WHO REACH THE AGE OF MATURITY AND THEN OBTAIN A POSITION OF AUTHORITY:  Minor Athletes who reach the age of maturity and then obtain a position of authority that presents a power imbalance, such as becoming a coach or official, must also comply with the policy and training requirements policies set forth in the USBA’s Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy regardless of the age of the minor athletes with whom they will interact.

 

INVESTIGATION AND RESOLUTION AUTHORITY/ U.S. CENTER FOR SAFESPORT

The USBA and its Constituents are subject to the U.S. Center for SafeSport (the “Center”) Code https://safesport.org/files/index/tag/policies-procedures.

 

The Center has the exclusive jurisdiction to investigate and resolve allegations of sexual misconduct of a Constituent.

 

The Center also has discretionary jurisdiction to investigate and resolve allegations of other forms of abuse and any prohibited conduct under the Code.

 

If the Center does not have exclusive jurisdiction or take discretionary jurisdiction over a matter, it will fall within USBA’s jurisdiction to address.  Employee/volunteer matters will be handled pursuant to employee policies and procedures, and issues falling under the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act (the “TSOASA”) will, after a preliminary determination (described below), be handled pursuant to the Hearing Procedures in the USBA Bylaws (Chapter 32).

 

Preliminary Determination -  On receipt of a disclosure and/or other information alleging misconduct, if the USBA CEO or Chairman of the Board is satisfied, in the exercise of his or her discretion, that there is a sufficient reasonable, reliable and persuasive evidence to support the complaint alleging emotional, physical or sexual misconduct, he or she shall notify the Review Panel. The Review Panel will consist of the CEO or his/her designee, the Chair of the USBA Board of Directors or his/her designee, the Chair of the Ethics Committee, the USBA AAC representative, and legal counsel as determined by the Chair of the Board.  The review panel shall determine if a Grievance exists and recommend either that the CEO attempt to resolve the matter informally at outlined in Chapter 31, Section 10 of the USBA Bylaws or whether the matter requires referral to the Hearing Committee and creation of a Hearing Panel as described in Chapter 32 of the USBA Bylaws (a summary of which is below – nothing contained therein is intended to supercede, replace or otherwise abrogate the USBA Bylaws).

Minor Witness -

If the complainant/alleged victim(s) is a minor, the investigator’s or other fact-finder’s report may substitute for the minor witness’s direct testimony, provided that the accused had an opportunity to present and respond to relevant information collected during the investigation and before the report was transmitted to the Review Panel (discussed above).

The Hearing Panel may proceed in the accused individual’s absence if it cannot locate the individual or if the individual declines to attend the hearing.

Sanctions -

Any sanctions imposed by the Hearing Panel against the individual will be proportionate and reasonable, relative to the content that is found to have occurred. The decision regarding the appropriate sanction shall be up to the panel deciding each complaint. In imposing a sanction, the Review Panel shall consider:

a) The seriousness of the offense or act;

b) The age of the accused individual and alleged victim when the offense or act occurred;

c) Any information produced by the accused individual, or produced on behalf of the individual, in regard to the individual’s rehabilitation and good conduct;

d) Whether the individual poses an ongoing concern for the safety of the USBA’s athletes and participants; and

e) Any other information, which in the determination of the Panel, bears on the appropriate sanction.

 

 

Sanctions may range from a warning and a reprimand to suspension from sport involvement with the USBA for a period of time. Suspensions from sport involvement with the USBA may be temporary or permanent. The most severe sanction possible to impose will be permanent suspension from sport involvement and expulsion from USBA activities and facilities.   In the event that the allegation is made against an athlete, the Hearing Panel will communicate its findings to the USOC for a determination concerning continued access to an OTC.

 

USBA may maintain a publicly-available list of those individuals who have been sanctioned by the Center, the USOC and/or USBA.

 

REPORTING

Every Constituent must report reasonable suspicions or allegations of: (1) violations of this Policy and (2) child physical or sexual abuse to either the Center or the USBA as set forth below.

The USBA also encourages member parents, athletes and other sport participants to communicate violations of the Policy and/or allegations and suspicions of misconduct.

All cases of suspected emotional, physical or sexual abuse of a minor (under the age of 18) must be reported to law enforcement immediately. Filing a report with the Center and/or USBA does not satisfy this obligation. 

 

Please report all issues falling within the Center’s authority (see, Section II.E., above) to the Center.

 

TO REPORT TO THE U.S. CENTER FOR SAFESPORT - CLICK HERE: https://safesport.org/report-a-concern or Report by following this link to an online: FORM

 

Please report all issues falling outside of the Center’s authority to USBA.

TO REPORT TO THE USBA complete an Incident Report Form, which may be found online at our SafeSport page DOWNLOAD NOW

In the event you file with USBA and the issue is not within its jurisdiction, USBA will forward the report falling under the Center’s jurisdiction to the Center.  USBA will address all other matters.

REPORTING TO EITHER THE CENTER OR USBA MAY BE MADE ANONYMOUSLY.  However, an anonymous report may limit USBA’s ability to investigate and respond to a report.  Thus, USBA strongly encourages those making a report to provide their name and contact information.   

 

THERE ARE NO FILING FEES ASSOCIATED WITH INITIATING A REPORT

 

All suspicions/allegations of child physical or sexual abuse will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.  As a matter of policy, the USBA does not investigate suspicions/allegations of child physical or sexual abuse or attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of such allegations as a condition for reporting to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

 

WILLFULLY TOLERATING MISCONDUCT

 

It is a violation of this Policy if a Constituent knows of misconduct, but does not report the issue as set forth in this Policy.

 

 

CONFIDENTIALITY, NO RETALIATION AND BAD-FAITH ALLEGATIONS

Confidentiality

To the extent permitted by law, and as appropriate, the USBA will keep confidential the complainant’s name on request, not make public the names of potential victims, the accused perpetrator or the people who made a report of child physical and sexual abuse to the authorities.

No Retaliation

Regardless of outcome, the USBA will support the complainant(s) and his or her right to express concerns in good faith. The USBA will not encourage, allow or tolerate attempts from any individual to retaliate, punish, allow or in any way harm any individual(s) who reports a concern in good faith. Such actions against a complainant will be considered a violation of this Policy and grounds for disciplinary action. Any allegations of retaliation should be reported using the same process as for reporting an initial concern.

Bad-Faith Allegations

A report of abuse, misconduct or policy violations that is malicious, frivolous or made in bad faith is prohibited. Such reports will be considered a violation of this Policy and grounds for disciplinary action. Depending on the nature of the allegation, a person making a malicious, frivolous or bad-faith report may also be subject to civil or criminal proceedings.

 

 

INTERIM MEASURES/SUSPENSION BEFORE FINAL RESOLUTION

If the reported complaint indicates that a Constituent’s continued employment, membership or participation poses a material risk of ongoing physical or emotional harm, the USBA may institute interim measures and/or preliminarily suspend the accused individual pending final resolution of the complaint to eliminate any potential for danger to an athlete, sport participant or other individual. Except for employee/volunteer issues (over which USBA has absolute discretion), where the measure materially affects the right to participate (e.g., suspension) the USBA will provide the Constituent with notice and offer her/him an opportunity to contest the suspension.

Interim measures may include, but are not limited to, measures such as:  altering training schedules, providing or requiring chaperones, implementing limitations on contact and/or one-on-one interactions, suspensions, etc. USBA may modify an interim measure at any time.  The Constituent to whom the interim measure applies may be required to arrange and pay for some or all of the measures.

For the purposes of this Policy, a suspension from sport involvement shall mean that for the duration of the period of suspension, the accused individual may not participate in any capacity or in any role in the business, events, or activities of the USBA. In the event that the allegation is made against an athlete, the USBA will communicate its findings to the USOC for a determination concerning continued access to an OTC.

 

 

APPEAL RIGHT

Any Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act suspension before final resolution may be appealed to the American Arbitration Association (AAA) at the written request of the accused individual within 20 days of the suspension as further detailed in Chapter 32, Section 8 of the USBA Bylaws.