OTTAWA — Speed Skating Canada has fired national long-track coach Michael Crowe, four months after former American speedskaters claimed he had sexual relationships with athletes while a U.S. coach.
The 64-year-old Crowe, from Butte, Montana, was put on leave in January while the organization conducted an investigation. The 64-year-old Crowe joined the Canadian team in 2007 and was promoted to head coach in 2015.
“Following a review of the investigation completed in mid-March, Speed Skating Canada has made the decision to part ways with Mr. Crowe,” Speed Skating Canada said Friday in a statement. “Given confidentiality obligations, no further details will be provided on this matter.
“Our athletes, coaches, office staff and volunteers deserve and expect to train and compete in an atmosphere of security, respect and professionalism, sustaining the reputation of Speed Skating Canada. The management of Speed Skating Canada is committed to moving forward and rebuilding trust with its membership and community through open communication and responsive policies.”
Crowe spent time as a coach on the American team from 1983 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2006.
Speed Skating Canada’s code of conduct states that coaches must “at no time become intimately and/or sexually involved with their athletes. This includes requests for sexual favors or threat of reprisal for the rejection of such requests.”
Speed Skating Canada CEO Susan Auch, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, would not say whether Crowe violated the code of conduct.
“I can’t speak to the specifics of Mr. Crowe’s investigation. What I can say is his action was not consistent with SSC values,” Auch told The Canadian Press. “I can’t say specifically which values and policies, but those were taken into account when the decision was made, and the decision was made fairly quickly as soon as we received the report results. The decision was made entirely based on communication from our Canadian athletes and coaches.”
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