Canoe Racing New Zealand has sought to expel two-time Olympic gold medalist Alan Thompson’s membership in the organisation following an investigation into complaints he made inappropriate sexualised remarks to athletes.
Back in October 2020, Canoe Racing New Zealand (CRNZ) received complaints that Thompson had made inappropriate sexualised remarks towards female athletes.
“In October 2020, CRNZ received complaints alleging that a CRNZ member, Alan Thompson, had made inappropriate sexualised remarks to female athletes,” CRNZ said in the statement.
“One incident was alleged to have occurred in 1998, and the other in 2014. One of the incidents occurred overseas on a CRNZ tour, and the other at a competition in NZ. CRNZ will not disclose further details of the conduct at this time out of consideration for the privacy of the complainants.”
Following complaints, the national body appointed Wellington QC Victoria Casey to carry out an investigation into Thompson’s alleged conduct.
Canoe Racing NZ said it would not be providing further details of the allegations at the moment “out of consideration for the privacy of the complainants”.
Thompson’s membership has since been suspended pending an outcome of the independent investigations.
Thompson has denied that either incident occurred, according to the statement.
A statement provided by Thompson’s lawyer to Stuff, David Fraundorfer, said Thompson denied the allegations “in the strongest terms”.
In that statement Thompson was said to be “distressed that CRNZ has placed matters in the public domain before complaints have been fully determined”.
Casey’s investigation found that the alleged conduct occurred and that it was “unbecoming of a CRNZ member and contrary to CRNZ’s goals”.
Following the investigation, the Canoe Racing NZ board resolved to expel Thompson.
“The CRNZ Constitution sets out that a member may be expelled only by Special Resolution of Members at General Meeting.”
The meeting is scheduled for December 22.
The Canoe Racing NZBoard said the “welfare and confidentiality” of the complainants is of the highest priority.
“As is continuing our commitment to ensuring a culture where inappropriate behaviour can be addressed in a secure and confidential manner and the appropriate process can be followed.”
Thompson won a two gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games for the K1 1000m and K2 500m.
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