Keeping Track of Criminal Cases & SafeSport Suspensions in Skating

Sylvia

TBD
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81,173
Latest update in the Kerry case. The article is paywalled. Is someone able to post a link that is not paywalled?

Basically the family are no longer able to coach at Macquarie rink.
This is News Corp Australia Sports' Julian Linden's follow-up to his earlier "exclusive" with Monica MacDonald: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/author/julian-linden

Like last time, I was able to open and read the article one time by clicking in the link in this X post: https://x.com/cmail_sport/status/1793426075340698032

Key excerpts:
But while SafeSport has no jurisdiction outside its own borders and their findings are deemed ‘not yet final’, the fallout in Australia has been swift and exposed the deep cracks in the way the sport is run in this country.
While Kerry agreed to stand down from his full-time job coaching kids the moment the US report became public, the wealthy owner of the Macquarie Ice Rink, Dr Frank Gregg, has also suspended Kerry’s mother Monica MacDonald and her husband John Dunn.
Since then [Linden's earlier article], it’s understood MacDonald and her husband were both notified that they had been suspended, without pay, from their longtime jobs at Macquarie Ice Rink, where MacDonald was the skating director and Dunn worked as the rink manager.
Independent sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the reasons provided for the pair’s suspension was that they had failed to notify the rink owners about Kerry’s case and the media coverage had negatively impacted the venue’s reputation.
Macquarie Ice Rink refused to comment or respond to questions when contacted by this masthead.
Other coaches and parents of children who train at the rink, were later emailed notices, signed off by Gregg, saying that a new executive team had already been appointed.
Seen by this masthead, the letters say: “We understand changes of this nature can be concerning. Please rest assured that we are committed to a seamless transition and will provide all the required support to all our staff/coaches/stakeholders/customer base/patrons.”
Dunn was also stood down as a board member of Ice Skating Australia (ISA) after his wife had voluntarily stepped aside from her role on the ISA coaching committee and at the Australian Professional Skaters Association (APSA), where she was serving as president.
ISA president Wendy Meik refused to comment on the proceedings when asked by this masthead while APSA said they were not making any decisions because the process was still ongoing.
“Any issue brought to the Board will be investigated following our protocol,” APSA told this masthead.
“APSA’s complaint, investigation and disciplinary processes are confidential to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all parties involved to ensure all parties are afforded their right to privacy, natural justice and procedural fairness.”
 

skatfan

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This is News Corp Australia Sports' Julian Linden's follow-up to his earlier "exclusive" with Monica MacDonald: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/author/julian-linden

Like last time, I was able to open and read the article one time by clicking in the link in this X post: https://x.com/cmail_sport/status/1793426075340698032

Key excerpts:
Yeah, if I were the owner I would be mad about the situation as well. The liability alone could be staggering. And no, I don’t believe that his parents didn’t know about the charges.
 

Vagabond

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Copying over from the wrong thread. :duh:

Thank you, @Sylvia :notworthy:

Independent sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the reasons provided for the pair’s suspension was that they had failed to notify the rink owners about Kerry’s case and the media coverage had negatively impacted the venue’s reputation.

This implies that MacDonald and Dunn knew about the investigation and could have told the rink owners.

Pretty much everything I know about Monica MacDonald comes from reading posts on FSU. Her remarks about the American-Australian Brooklee Han, who beat out Chantelle Kerry fair and square for international assignments struck me as particularly inappropriate for someone whose involvement with the sport went far beyond being a skating mom.
 
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PRlady

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Copying over from the wrong thread. :duh:

Thank you, @Sylvia :notworthy:



This implies that MacDonald and Dunn knew about the investigation and could have told the rink owners.

Pretty much everything I know about Monica MacDonald comes from reading posts on FSU. Her remarks about the American-Australian Brooklee Han, who beat out Chantelle Kerry fair and square for international assignments struck me as particularly inappropriate for someone whose involvement with the sport went far beyond being a skating mom.
What did she say?
 

Vagabond

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25,644
What did she say?
I have done a search of the Archives and can't find her remarks, so I may be attributing to MacDonald her daughter Chantelle Kerry's post on social media to the effect that she (Chantelle) was a real Australian, implying that Brooklee Han was not.

At any rate, MacDonald enabled Chantelle to file an ultimately unsuccessful petition with the CAS challenging Han's basis to represent Australia internationally. The ostensible basis was that Han was skated at some competition in the United States without ISA's permission. If successful, the petition would have determined that Han was ineligible to compete at 2013 Nebelhorn, which was the Olympic qualifier that year, and would have prevented Australia from sending anyone to compete in the Ladies compeition at the 2014 Olympics.
 
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Wyliefan

Ubering juniors against my will
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New post from James Min. Since it was spurred by the Kerry incident, I guess this is the best place to put it.


In case anyone has trouble accessing it:

This is a topic I’d rather not talk about, however in light of the recent news this is critical in protecting the safety of children in sport in Australia. For changes to be made, this needs to be discussed, acknowledged and brought to light. As uncomfortable and horrific these events are, it’s important that we start having these conversations and acknowledging the constant reoccurring issues.

If you think this doesn’t affect you, it does. Your coaches, officials, and the people running the sport of figure skating in Australia who are staying silent and are associated with these sick and twisted individuals are just as bad. And trust me they know the stories and are aware of what is happening behind closed doors. However, it’s never too late for changes to be implemented and for these issues to be taken seriously.

I’m beyond sick and tired of nothing being done to protect the safety of children in this sport, and it’s about time changes are made. There have been too many incidences now. From the tragic passing of Katia to now this recent story. The death of Katia wasn’t something to be celebrated. The point of this heartbreaking story isn’t the fact it won an Emmy. The question is, what is being done to protect our athletes? How have we moved forward from this tragedy? Have there been policies and protocols implemented?

As horrific as the recent events were, I’m somewhat relieved that something was done about it in the United States. This is because of the SafeSport code, which allows them to take necessary action to ensure the safety of their athletes. Australia does not have these same protocols and policies in place, which is absolutely terrifying to me. For example, a policy of the SafeSport code states that “A Minor Athlete shall not live in the same physical residence with an unrelated Adult Participant under any circumstances”.
These are one of the many policies that have been implemented to protect the safety of children in sport.

I myself am a victim of grooming by an adult. I will not name this individual due to legal reasons. However, I didn’t receive the support and protection I needed during this time. I spent a lot of my career as an athlete suffering internally and not being able to reach out to anyone. Or when I did reach out, no one could provide me with the help I needed. This isn’t about my story. This is about making a change in the way we handle and navigate the safety of athletes in Australia. The last thing I would want is for another athlete to have to go through what I went through and to suffer the way I did in silence. We must protect the safety of our athletes in Australia and now is the time to make a change.

Please sign this petition in order to expand Sport’s Integrity Australia’s responsibilities to protect all athletes.
 

Trillian

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987
At any rate, MacDonald enabled Chantelle to file an ultimately unsuccessful petition with the CAS challenging Han's basis to represent Australia internationally. The ostensible basis was that Han was skated at some competition in the United States without ISA's permission. If successful, the petition would have determined that Han was ineligible to compete at 2013 Nebelhorn, which was the Olympic qualifier that year, and would have prevented Australia from sending anyone to compete in the Ladies compeition at the 2014 Olympics.

I looked this up the other day because I was trying to remember the whole story, and from what I gather the fight went even beyond Nebelhorn. They first tried to prevent Han from going to Nebelhorn on the basis that Han hadn’t competed in an event that was supposed to be a Nebelhorn “selection” competition. Then, after Han went to Nebelhorn and earned an Olympic spot for Australia, the argument switched to the fact that Han had supposedly competed at an “unauthorized” event in the U.S. It wasn’t resolved until a few months before the Olympics, even though IIRC Han was clearly the stronger skater and probably the only woman capable of earning an Olympic spot for AUS at that point.
 

Sylvia

TBD
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81,173
At any rate, MacDonald enabled Chantelle to file an ultimately unsuccessful petition with the CAS challenging Han's basis to represent Australia internationally. The ostensible basis was that Han was skated at some competition in the United States without ISA's permission. If successful, the petition would have determined that Han was ineligible to compete at 2013 Nebelhorn, which was the Olympic qualifier that year, and would have prevented Australia from sending anyone to compete in the Ladies compeition at the 2014 Olympics.
The CAS petition was filed in early December 2013 to prevent Brooklee Han from being selected for the Australian 2014 Olympic team. There was an earlier internal (ISA) petition that tried to prevent Han from competing at 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy, the final Olympic qualifying event -- see the article excerpt below.
I looked this up the other day because I was trying to remember the whole story, and from what I gather the fight went even beyond Nebelhorn. They first tried to prevent Han from going to Nebelhorn on the basis that Han hadn’t competed in an event that was supposed to be a Nebelhorn “selection” competition. Then, after Han went to Nebelhorn and earned an Olympic spot for Australia, the argument switched to the fact that Han had supposedly competed at an “unauthorized” event in the U.S. It wasn’t resolved until a few months before the Olympics, even though IIRC Han was clearly the stronger skater and probably the only woman capable of earning an Olympic spot for AUS at that point.
Yes. I looked up the thread in the FSU Archives and an article (by Yahoo Sports Australia in early December 2013) I had posted laid out the timeline as follows:
Official selection of one of the first athletes for Australia's Winter Olympics team is on ice with a dispute over the women's figure skating spot set for a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing next week.
The Australian Olympic Committee was expected to announce all of its figure skating positions on Wednesday in Melbourne but will now only present men's competitor Brendan Kerry and ice dancing couple Danielle O'Brien and Greg Merriman as the first athletes confirmed for the Sochi Games in February.
Chantelle Kerry, Brendan's sister and fellow figure skating hopeful, will argue that Brooklee Han should be ineligible for Sochi because she entered an event without the approval of the national federation.
Han was born and raised in the US but qualifies for Australia through her father.
It's not the first time Kerry, daughter of 1988 Winter Olympian Monica MacDonald, has taken issue over Han.
In August [2013] she was unsuccessful at another appeals tribunal in which she argued that Han should not be allowed to attend a Games qualifying event in Germany, a meet which ultimately earned the Connecticut-based skater a spot for the Winter Olympics.
ETA that Chantelle Kerry was 17 at the time.
 
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Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
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New post from James Min. Since it was spurred by the Kerry incident, I guess this is the best place to put it.


In case anyone has trouble accessing it:
Hmmm if we are talking about Australia there are already guidelines in place from Safe Work Australia which cover the issue of bullying around volunteer organisations.


This document has a direct reference to bullying

Volunteers also have a duty under the model WHS Act to ensure that their actions do not constitute a risk to their own health and safety or that of other people in the workplace. See our website for more information on bullying.

Volunteers may also be covered by the national workplace bullying laws. See the Fair Work Commission’s website for further information.
The organisation needs to send a clear message that bullying will not be tolerated and provide information to volunteers about who they can contact if they are bullied in the workplace.

The model WHS Act also expressly prohibits the discrimination or unfair treatment of workers, including volunteers, because they have raised a WHS concern. A person found to be engaging in this type of discrimination may be liable to criminal penalties. See our guide on discriminatory coercive or misleading conduct.

So whilst saying the Sport Integrity Australia has a degree of responsibility, the issue is actually covered under Health and Safety legislation under the various States' WHS legislation and regulations. And then if there are issues that take place in a rink where people are employed (such as coaches), they are fall under WHS legislation.
 

Sylvia

TBD
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81,173
I'm very sad to have read this part by James Min:
I myself am a victim of grooming by an adult. I will not name this individual due to legal reasons. However, I didn’t receive the support and protection I needed during this time. I spent a lot of my career as an athlete suffering internally and not being able to reach out to anyone. Or when I did reach out, no one could provide me with the help I needed.
I thought Min was a very talented athlete and had hoped he would have a more successful and fulfilling career in competitive skating. :( I know he has since channeled his energies into singing and pro skating/touring with Disney on Ice. I hope he is healing.
 

Theatregirl1122

Needs a nap
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30,209
Hmmm if we are talking about Australia there are already guidelines in place from Safe Work Australia which cover the issue of bullying around volunteer organisations.


This document has a direct reference to bullying




So whilst saying the Sport Integrity Australia has a degree of responsibility, the issue is actually covered under Health and Safety legislation under the various States' WHS legislation and regulations. And then if there are issues that take place in a rink where people are employed (such as coaches), they are fall under WHS legislation.

I'm not sure I understand the relationship to bullying?
 

Mezzy09

New Member
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Hmmm if we are talking about Australia there are already guidelines in place from Safe Work Australia which cover the issue of bullying around volunteer organisations.


This document has a direct reference to bullying




So whilst saying the Sport Integrity Australia has a degree of responsibility, the issue is actually covered under Health and Safety legislation under the various States' WHS legislation and regulations. And then if there are issues that take place in a rink where people are employed (such as coaches), they are fall under WHS legislation.
James Min’s post refers to grooming not bullying. He isn’t a volunteer he was a skater.

The WHS Act isn’t the relevant legislation.
 

Aussie Willy

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James Min’s post refers to grooming not bullying. He isn’t a volunteer he was a skater.

The WHS Act isn’t the relevant legislation.
I was actually responding to the post about the petition, not what James wrote. Sorry if I didn't make myself clear. I should have been more specific about what I was copying.

In Australia Volunteer organisations have the same duty of care under WHS legislation as per the guidelines I posted. Unfortunately it becomes a more ethical consideration rather than the legislative one. But I had looked into this issue quite deeply a few years ago because of the issue of bullying within the sport. Trust me I have experienced it myself both in the workplace and as a volunteer.

Ironically in the workplace the person who bullied me had previously worked in HR and then I worked with them in Safety. Then they also ended up being the Workers Compensation Manager the last time I worked with them. How do you put in a Workers Comp complaint against the person who is bullying you?

As for the sport, if you want to know more just PM me.
 

Bunny Hop

Queen of the Workaround
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Kudos to James Min for speaking out, and I'm sorry to hear about his experience.

My observation is that everything he said rings true. Nothing was done after Katia and I still fear history repeating in that regard. There are too many people in the sport in Australia more concerned with protecting the status quo and their own positions of authority than working in the interest of all the athletes and not just those who are 'in favour' with the authorities,
 
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Sylvia

TBD
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81,173
Latest paywalled News Corp Australia article (if anyone can access... I assume James Min's FB post is being referenced in the headline since he used "sick and twisted"):

CODE Sports: The unmasking of ice skating's 'sick and twisted' toxic culture
As more athletes share their lived trauma, JULIAN LINDEN and DAVID RICCIO unmask ice skating’s toxic culture where the cries for outside help are getting louder. SUBSCRIBE for full story
Almost four years on, Australian ice skating still doesn't seem to have learnt anything from the controversy surrounding the tragic death of... [Katia Alexandrovskaya, presumably]
 
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Aussie Willy

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Yesterday I was at the ISA AGM. ISA has a Disciplinary Committee who are currently looking at this and any other cases that may arise and are handling those situations. The people involved are experts legally and part of member protection for ISA. When it comes to these issues ISA have to be very careful about what is said, hence why apart from the media statement that was issued it is not appropriate to say anything further.

I can say that everything is being taken very seriously.

As for the article above, it is very disappointing the way it has been presented. News Corp media (Murdoch owned here in Australia) are really the worse. They try to paint everything (not just this) in the most disgusting light.
 

Sylvia

TBD
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81,173
Yesterday I was at the ISA AGM. ISA has a Disciplinary Committee who are currently looking at this and any other cases that may arise and are handling those situations. The people involved are experts legally and part of member protection for ISA. When it comes to these issues ISA have to be very careful about what is said, hence why apart from the media statement that was issued it is not appropriate to say anything further.

I can say that everything is being taken very seriously.
That's good to hear.
Latest paywalled News Corp Australia article (if anyone can access... I assume James Min's FB post is being referenced in the headline since he used "sick and twisted"):

CODE Sports: The unmasking of ice skating's 'sick and twisted' toxic culture
As more athletes share their lived trauma, JULIAN LINDEN and DAVID RICCIO unmask ice skating’s toxic culture where the cries for outside help are getting louder.
Two relevant excerpts from the article that I was able to access:
"A number of skating participants have contacted this masthead saying they disagreed with the decision to suspend [Monica] MacDonald over the allegations made against her son, while others have said it is the right thing to do given the perception of a potential conflict of interest.
"The politics completely influence the whether skaters will report an issue or not," a relative of a current skater said.
"If your skater had a problem with Brendan, who would they even report it to?
Your only choice is to suck it up or abandon the sport."
MacDonald has denied showing favourable treatment to anyone in the sport.
"I'm a big one for avoiding conflicts of interest," she said. "If we have a meeting and there's something that's a conflict, I'll completely leave the room and wait till I hear screaming for me to return."
While ISA does not receive any funding from the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), it does need to meet a number of requirements to be classified as a NSO [National Sporting Organisation].
To remain an NSO, which enables it to remain affiliated with the international body, the ISA has to comply with an agreement with the ASC on a range of governance issues, such as constitutions, board charters, codes of conduct, strategic plans, and annual reports.
The question everyone is asking now is whether the ISA is still compliant or needs an independent investigation.
 

Aussie Willy

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The biggest issue with regards ISA and compliance is that everyone is a volunteer which is how most sporting associations in Australia operate. Very few sporting associations have paid roles and most of them fulfill their roles on top of regular jobs.

At the moment the ASC have directed ISA transition from being an Incorporated Association to a Limited Company. The process is time consuming because it involves rewriting the constitution and then getting all the state delegates to agree to the new constitution. Not to mention a stack of administration involved in the process.

I know that people are literally on the phone 24/7 dealing with the current issues and they all do this as volunteers.

Having said that having an independent body reviewing an organisation's rules, policies and procedures is not such a bad thing. It should not be done under threat but rather focus on opportunities for improvement so that the organisation can perform at their best or at least have measures in place for when issues arise.

Having been involved for so many years there are plenty of times decisions get made in reaction to a situation rather because you may not have encountered it before. I am now talking about any volunteer organisation, not just skating. You constantly feel like you have to chase your tail. And being in a position of responsibility myself it can be a struggle to make sure you have everything covered. Again adding the layer of volunteer to this sometimes feels like it sets you up for failure because of all the other day to day things you have to do in your life can take precedence.

ETA - I just saw the article referenced. The comment at the bottom regarding the issue not being on the agenda for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) was designed to create outrage and make out that ISA is somehow being underhanded and sneaky which is typical of the type of reporting of that media outlet.

To clarify AGMs have a specific purpose which is to report on the regular business of the association and to elect office holders. I think items for the agenda have to be submitted a certain number of days in advance. However as I have already explained the issue was addressed by the Disciplinary Committee at the meeting.
 
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Amy L

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9,689
Thanks for the clarification. I just saw it, shared with joy, then started hoping it's accurate.
It looks like it's just a screenshot of the SafeSport website. I went there and found it myself. Her name is currently third in the list and I suppose will move further down as the database is updated:

 

Amy L

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9,689
It looks like it's just a screenshot of the SafeSport website. I went there and found it myself. Her name is currently third in the list and I suppose will move further down as the database is updated:


Her misconduct is list as: Physical & Emotional Misconduct; Retaliation; Proactive Policy Violation; Abuse of Process; Failure to Report


eta: I meant to edit my previous post but apparently I can't internet properly anymore, sorry!
 

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