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Alex Naddour added to suspended list!

Discussion in 'Men's Artistic Gymnastics (MAG)' started by amiandjim, Jun 20, 2018.

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  1. I just saw that on Facebook and wondered...
  2. The bylaw cited refers to the sexual misconduct portion of the SafeSport policies. He's not yet listed on the SafeSport.org site. Interesting that USAG chose to suspend him from "all contact": a few other actively competing athletes were suspended from coaching or being around minors but allowed to compete (which is a form of "interim restriction;" Naddour's appears to have been given an "interim suspension").
  3. So he posted on social media that he has no idea what is going on, why he is suspended, and that he is trying to contact Safesport. I would think if someone is suspended, they should contact that person? Am I wrong?
  4. There's been a lot of confusion on this point. It's been very common that the NGB makes a public announcement before the individual is notified, which seems wrong. It's something that the Center for SafeSport is working on. He's not yet publicly listed on the SafeSport site.
    sce, GymMom4 and amiandjim like this.
  5. The article has been updated that I posted above
  6. Is there any due process involved? I know someone who was reported to Safe Sport; to my knowledge there is zero evidence to support the report, yet it continues to follow the accused around as they look for jobs. I realize I may not know the whole story, but I am friends with the family of the gymnast involved and they say the claims are false. However, the accused has seemingly no recourse at all. So anyone can make a complaint about anyone else and effectively ruin their career? I am all for Safe Sport and the reforms they are trying to put in place, but I hope there is a process to appeal.
    rbearclaw, jenjean70, GymMom4 and 2 others like this.
  7. We reported a coach for non-sexual abuse and they said they do an investigation, but that was supposed to start with an interview of my DD that never materialized. Maybe they take sexual accusations more seriously, but we were repeatedly tossed the word investigation.. so one can hope there is a full and fair process behind the scenes.
  8. Yes, there is quite a process involved, at least with the Center for SafeSport, and the "responding party" - the accused - has the opportunity to respond to the allegations and provide evidence that they are not true. There is a decent burden of proof that must be met before someone can be suspended, and an even higher level for someone to be found permanently ineligible. In cases where there's evidence of grooming or an "intimate relationship" (emotionally intimate) but not enough evidence of sexual relationship (or no allegations of a sexual relationship), the Center can require education, probation, etc. I'm not sure how a report to SafeSport could "follow the accused around as they look for jobs" because reports are confidential until an interim or permanent penalty is issued, and that requires quite a bit of evidence. (The Center will also issue an interim suspension if law enforcement requests it.)

    The family of the gymnast can say the claims are false and that doesn't mean that they are. It sounds like you're aware of that but it's worth repeating over and over again that when victims hear people say things like, "He would never do that!" "He's an upstanding individual!" etc., it reinforces their fear that they won't be believed if they speak up and can reinforce the emotional abuse they've heard from their abuser (you deserved this, it's your fault, you made me do this, no one will believe you, no one will understand that we're in love, etc.). Comments like, "That's out of character with my experiences with him," "I hope this isn't true," etc., express skepticism without being as invalidating or intimidating to a victim.

    (Last paragraph isn't directed as samsmama; a general PSA reminder to everyone!)
    ProvB and John like this.
  9. Violations of non-sexual misconduct are investigated by the NGB, while violations of sexual misconduct policies are investigated by the Center for SafeSport. I am not surprised that USAG dropped the ball on investigating a violation of the SafeSport policies on emotional misconduct since USAG seems unable to pull their head out of their rear end. The Center for SafeSport has an actual process that is still developing, but they're more competent than USAG. (Admittedly, not a high standard...)
    sce, MILgymFAM and John like this.
  10. And, unfortunately in this climate, it seems he is "guilty until proven innocent." Or at least as I read things, that seems to be public perception.
    sce, jenjean70 and samsmama like this.
  11. In the updated article, it’s states he was accused of sexual misconduct in 2012 AND 2016 but nothing was ever done. According to the article, it took the newspaper calling USAG for the suspension to occur?!?! That seems like a huge problem.
    LindyHopper likes this.
  12. I'm not sure where in the investigation things are for Naddour; but clearly this will now follow him for the rest of his life even if it is found to be baseless. It is very tricky, I definitely support victims and do see a reason for removing a coach/gymnast from contact while an investigation is done; but it certainly seems that there should be some way to do this *during the investigation* that doesn't involve a press release that will definitely ruin the accused's name.

    After Bill Cosby I realized that you just never can know (he always seemed like a truly good guy IMO, he is the celebrity that has most shocked me); but at the same time there are definitely instances where these accusations are made and they are baseless. I would wager that is rare; but I definitely know it happens.
    jenjean70 and strawberries like this.
  13. But it really doesn't sound like this was the case here if Naddour himself has no idea what is happening. I feel like he would have known had he been investigated. But that could just be a front on his part.

    I read it as the first allegation happening in 2012 and a 2nd accusation about the same 2012 incident being reported again in 2016, but maybe I'm wrong. It still should have been investigated much sooner than now regardless.

    It is good to see that SafeSport is being diligent about matters of sexual misconduct, even those which happened before the organization was formed, I just hoped they aren't jumping the gun in an effort to prove themselves.

    I can't speak for any of these people as I know none of them personally, so this is in no way me questioning the validity of the accusations. But it's a little alarming to see the rapid fire way these names are being added to the suspended/banned member this. Because it either means people are being thrown under the bus unfairly OR there are a ridiculously large number of USAG members with a history of sexual misconduct who have been flying under the radar undetected for years- both scary possibilities.
    ProvB, PinPin, jenjean70 and 5 others like this.
  14. In the case I am referring to, the accused has not been given any chance to respond. The accusation concerned grooming, not abuse, and the coach was fired immediately following the complaint (made by another coach). The coach (trying to stay vague here to protect everyone involved) then was hired by a second gym and that gym was sent a letter from USAG stating that the person had a complaint filed against them. So that's what I mean by "following the accused around".

    I am certainly aware of how difficult it can be with these cases, but my question wasn't asking if you think abuse happened or not. I was asking about the process so I appreciate the answer to that question. The child who was allegedly being groomed moved to the second gym with the accused coach. Unfortunately, the coach was let go once the letter arrived. If there is more to the story and this person should not be working with kids, then of course I would want that to be addressed no matter how much I personally like and respect them. For now this coach will not be able to work in the sport while this is pending and they haven't been given a chance to respond. It's just a really sad and frustrating experience all around.
    jenjean70 and skschlag like this.
  15. To be fair, it does not say nothing was done. Now, we can guess, based on experiences from that time, that little to nothing was done, but this is not stated.

    If he did something, then great...throw the book at him. He deserves whatever is happening/happens. However, if he didn't, coming back from this will be extremely difficult for him, and most likely, his career is over.

    I had another parent tell me today that a SafeSport report was made about a local gym, and not followed up on at all. (similar to milgymfam's experience).
    jenjean70 and amiandjim like this.
  16. There's strong evidence this suspension did not come from the Center, but to talk about the Center for Safe Sport, the accused is not immediately notified. As an imperfect analogy, the police don't call someone and say, "Hey, someone told us you're selling drugs and we'd like to talk to you about that." They don't tell someone under investigation for child pornography, or other situations where "advanced warning" would give someone time to destroy evidence, intimidate witnesses, create an alibi, work on their story, etc.

    If there is no evidence that a minor is currently in danger, they perform half of the investigation before the accused is notified, collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses. If there's evidence that a violation of the sexual misconduct policy has occurred, they then contact the accused to schedule an interview. Based on what the accused says and what explanations/excuses/evidence are offered, they'll contact any witnesses the accused offers and look at the evidence they offer, and can circle back to the victim or third party reporter, etc. They want to talk to witnesses before the accused has the chance to either intimidate them or coordinate stories, before evidence can be destroyed, etc.

    You can play "what about" with the accused's rights, but remember that the foundation of the SafeSport policy against sexual misconduct is that there is an imbalance of power between the accused and the victim.

    It appears that this suspension was made by USAG after a reporter inquired about past allegations made against Naddour. My suspicion is that USAG said, "Oh @($*@. What do we do now that we've been caught? Suspension and referral to SafeSport!"

    Also, it's important to distinguish between USAG's SafeSport actions and the Center for SafeSport. For example, the situations MILgymFan and samsmom describe are being handled by USAG because it involves emotional and/or physical misconduct. I absolutely believe that USAG is failing to follow up on those investigations in a timely manner. That has nothing to do with how the Center for SafeSport is handling cases involving sexual misconduct.
    sce likes this.
  17. Has anyone heard of an update on this? It has been more than a month since it was announced that he was suspended. It seems to me that by now there should be some sort of update from either side. This is the most recent information that I can find and it isn't much: https://www.abc15.com/sports/sports...alist-among-those-suspended-by-usa-gymnastics

    I don't know what the answer is; but I'm not sure that publicly announcing these suspensions before investigating is the right thing. Maybe have it that they are informed that they can not work with kids until an investigation has been done; but don't put out a public list until there is compelling evidence?
    sce, skschlag, coachmolly and 3 others like this.
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