AthletesCAN latest organization to join federal government's Abuse-Free Sport

OTTAWA — AthletesCAN, the association of Canada's national team athletes, has joined Abuse-Free Sport, the federal government's new program to prevent and address maltreatment in sport.

AthletesCAN will have access to the new Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC), which is the central hub of Abuse-Free Sport, following a transition period that will end no later than Dec. 21.

"We are happy to have joined Abuse-Free Sport and to soon have the OSIC to administer our safe sport complaints," AthletesCAN vice-president Bo Hedges said. "As the only independent organization representing Canada's national team athletes, the development, implementation and successful execution of this new mechanism has been a priority for our members for many years."

Canada's sport minister Pascale St-Onge has given national sport organizations a deadline of April to sign on with OSIC, or risk losing federal funding. Athletes in numerous sports including gymnastics, bobsled and skeleton have been vocal about maltreatment in their sports, amid what St-Onge has called a "safe-sport crisis" in Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2022.

The Canadian Press