Olympic Coach Peter Foley & Snowboarder Hagen Kearney Under Investigation
U.S. Ski & Snowboard is investigating longtime Olympic coach Peter Foley as well as Olympic snowboard racer Hagen Kearney after allegations surfaced that the former took pictures of naked female athletes and the latter used racist language to antagonize a teammate.
Former snowboardcross rider and member of the 2010 Olympic team Callan Chythlook-Sifsof wrote on Instagram that, in addition to the photos, Foley had also made inappropriate comments, and Kearney repeatedly used the N-word to “intentionally get under my skin.” Chythlook-Sifsof hails from Alaska and identifies as Yupik and Inupiaq.
“I cannot watch another Olympic Games without saying this publicly,” she wrote.
The two were in China this week for the Olympics.
In a statement, U.S. Ski & Snowboard said that it “takes all allegations seriously. Peter Foley remains as U.S. Snowboardcross team head coach while all recent allegations are being investigated.”
Foley said he was surprised by the allegations.
“I vehemently deny the allegations,” Foley said. “I’m doing my best to concentrate on supporting the athletes at the Olympics.”
Kearney finished 17th in the men’s snowboardcross contest. He posted on Instagram that he faced expulsion after the episode and apologized soon after it happened.
“I did not have the same head on my shoulders back then as I do now and Callan was a huge part of me changing and growing as a human,” Kearney wrote on Instagram.
Two-time Beijing-gold-medal-winner Lindsey Jacobellis said she never had an issue with Foley.
“I can speak very highly of his character and he’s always been supporting me through everything that I’ve gone through,” she said.
The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee said in a statement: “We take all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously and follow protocols to ensure it is reported and managed properly.”
Such cases are investigated via U.S. Center for SafeSport, which opened in 2017 to handle abuse allegations inside U.S. sports.
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