USA Badminton in trouble for failing safe-sport policy

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee placed the future of the country's badminton federation in peril Tuesday, launching the decertification process of USA Badminton after it failed to complete a host of measures needed to protect athletes from sexual abuse.

A 2018 audit of USA Badminton showed it didn't have proper policies in place for safe-sport training and background checks. A follow-up this year showed none of the fixes had been completed.

USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland wrote an open letter to the badminton community outlining the decertification process for Anaheim, California-based USA Badminton.

Hirshland said that the uncertainty brought about by potential decertification "is better than allowing the status quo to continue. The athletes deserve better and we simply must hold organizations accountable if they can't meet our standards."

The USOPC moved to decertify USA Gymnastics last year, but that process was held up when USAG filed for bankruptcy.

The USOPC is, itself, under scrutiny for its handling of sex-abuse scandals. Last week, it rolled out a number of governance reforms, which included an extensive rewrite of its responsibilities for managing national governing bodies.

The day before the USOPC announcement, USA Badminton put out a news release stating Ken Wong had been elected as its new chairman at a board meeting in October.

The federation said Wong becomes chair after Ben Lee resigned "to comply with USOC Reform letter that the Chair be an Independent Director."

The organization's interim CEO, Linda French, did not immediately return an email sent by The Associated Press seeking comment.


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