Boxing Canada: 121 signatories call for high performance director to leave

MONTREAL — The Canadian Boxing Association’s high-performance director, Daniel Trépanier, has been publicly accused by more than a hundred signatories of “maintaining a toxic culture” in the national program. What is he doing in the office despite a mixed record on the international stage?

“That’s a good question,” said Mary Spencer, who competed at the 2012 London Olympics. However, it will be up to the Canadian Boxing Association to answer.

On Wednesday, 121 people, including former athletes, coaches, officials and members of provincial organizations, called for Trepanier’s resignation and, in a letter to Sports Canada, called for an independent inquiry into sports culture and safety practices. Onge, Anne Merklinger, Executive Director of Own the Podium, Boxing Council of Canada, AthletesCAN and various media outlets.

The signatories, who have decided to remain anonymous to avoid any retaliation, say Boxing Canada maintains a toxic culture of fear and silence internally. They identified four main areas of concern: governance and transparency, safety, toxic culture, harassment and favoritism. The charges against Trepanier and the National Federation date back to 2008.

“For more than a decade, Boxing Canada athletes and coaches who have spoken out against misconduct and advocated for reform have been expelled from the organization,” the document reads. Many athletes feel they have been subjected to physical and psychological abuse and neglect by the organization because of their refusal to address these issues. . Several attempts have been made to highlight these issues, but they have been ignored or rejected outright.

Boxing Canada declined to be interviewed by Canadian media. The only answer is that Ryan Savage, chairman of the federation’s board of directors, issued a press release.

If the federation read the open letter, it said it was “proud of its values ​​(sic), such as health and safety, integrity and responsibility” and took those concerns “very seriously”. She also claimed “rapid action has been taken in recent months to improve transparency and governance of the organisation”.

Still, Trepanier, even as Canada’s Olympic boxing performance was in free fall for a long time, kept his place.

“I think he’s a very skilled guy, good at writing reports, preparing documents that completely disempower the coaching staff and the people who make the decisions, unilaterally blaming the athletes in addition to unilaterally blaming them, he Led Benoît Gaudet 2004 at the Athens Olympics. It has been going on for many years.”

LaRouche doesn’t understand that Trepanier hasn’t lost his place on the basis of his coaching qualities alone, not to mention the other allegations against him.

“I saw all the fights in London and Rio: I was there. I also analysed all the fights in Tokyo for TV. I was able to see the technical work, or rather the lack of versatility of our athletes. It’s just It’s because one isolates the athletes, doesn’t let them express themselves, prevents them from seeing other coaches. It gives the athletes who are regressed, unimaginative, unconfident: that’s what we’re seeing more and more in national teams.

“I’ve seen coaches in England, Australia, America, Brazil: it’s the strategy, the rhythm and the positive support of the players. In the corners of Canada, it’s unmatched. It deserves you at a lower level like bronze glove or silver glove Heard in the fight. Not worthy of the Olympics. He’s a guy who never developed a boxer. If he appointed a national coach to trust him.

LaRouche also lamented the sacking of Brazilian Joao Carlos Barros, who had trained at an excellent Cuban school and quit months before the Tokyo Olympics.

“Canada started to get some good results while he was there. They fired him six months before the Olympics and they were very aware of their best medal chances Tamara Tebow loved working with him and was improving. ( …) He (Trépanier) finds a lot of “stupid” reasons to kick him out. But the real reason is that he has a good relationship with the athlete, which annoys Trépanier.

“Barros led the Brazilian boxer to gold at the Rio Olympics. He produced great champions. Trepanil felt powerless around him and he got rid of him. Whenever he had capable people around him, he will do so.”

against women’s boxing

The most surprising thing about the whole thing is that Trepanier has long been a vocal opponent of women’s boxing, a rather special position as director of high performance and coach of the national team.

“Daniel Trepanier was long overdue; Spencer, now a professional for a long time, insisted he was in the stables of Tiger Eye Management and admitted Canadian media was on Wednesday One of the signatories of the letter that was sent out. We have to end this. Every athlete has their own complaints. All I can say is that when a high performance director of a National Boxing Federation speaks out against women’s boxing, it’s a huge The problem. Everyone knows it: he said it many times. A guy’s personal opinion shouldn’t be a barrier to your preparation, but when you’re working with him, the way he treats women, it’s a huge barrier.”

“I know that after my first-hand experience with London, my first instinct was not to blame anyone, but to accept my failures and take responsibility for them. The more I thought about it, the more I remembered how things turned out on the way to these Olympics It was so bad, the more I thought I should speak up. When I heard how the team handled the 2016 Olympics, I felt guilty for not reporting what happened.”

In Own the Podium’s eyes, Spencer represented a medal opportunity at the London Olympics, so the organization awarded him a $140,000 scholarship to perfect his training.

“Daniel sent me and two male fighters to a training camp in Ireland where none of the female fighters participated. I didn’t have a sparring partner. It showed in my performances. A few months later, when I learned about the two I was pissed when one of the top boxers turned pro and he was his coach.

“My coach at the time wrote a letter to management explaining the situation and expressing our great disappointment. I never got an answer.”

crisis

In the letter published Wednesday, the 121 co-signers noted that a compilation of the life experiences of many boxers was submitted to the Canadian Boxing Association’s director’s office last year, but no investigation was launched to analyze the allegations.

The letter from the Canadian boxer comes as Minister St-Onge admits there is a “crisis” in Canadian sport. During her first five months in office, she said, she learned of allegations of child abuse, sexual assault and embezzlement from at least eight national sports organizations.

Canadian luge athletes and skeletal experts wrote a similar letter in March demanding the resignation of their program presidents and high-performance executives. They have said they will not be involved in the mediation process because, according to them, it will be “a bandage on a serious wound”. About 70 gymnasts, which have grown to more than 400, have written to Sports Canada asking for an independent investigation to shed light on the culture of abuse in their sport.

– Toronto-based Canadian journalist Lori Ewing contributed to this story.

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