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US Ski and Snowboard cuts ties with longtime Olympic coach amid sexual misconduct allegations

<i>Doug Pensinger/Getty Images</i><br/>US Ski and Snowboard cut ties with longtime coach Peter Foley
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Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
US Ski and Snowboard cut ties with longtime coach Peter Foley

By Kevin Dotson, CNN

US Ski and Snowboard, the sports’ governing body, has cut ties with longtime coach Peter Foley amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

“As of March 20, 2022, Peter Foley is no longer employed by U.S. Ski and Snowboard,” US Ski and Snowboard said in a statement to CNN. “Mr. Foley has been on a leave of absence since February 21, 2022,” the statement said. The organization did not provide a reason for the departure of its longtime snowboarding coach, though his leave of absence began shortly after allegations were raised during the Beijing Olympics last month.

Foley was coaching the US snowboarding team in Beijing when Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, a member of the 2010 US Olympic snowboard team, outlined allegations of inappropriate behavior in a series of Instagram posts.

In the posts, Chythlook-Sifsof accused Foley of taking “naked photos of female athletes for over a decade.”

Foley denied the accusations at the time, telling Newsweek, “I’m surprised by the allegations. I vehemently deny the allegations. I’m doing my best to concentrate on supporting the athletes at the Olympics.”

US Ski and Snowboard announced at the time that it was opening an investigation.

Foley’s departure from US Ski and Snowboard comes just two days after he was handed a temporary suspension by the US Center for SafeSport, a federally sanctioned watchdog group that investigates reports of abuse within the US Olympic and Paralympic Movement.

When asked about Foley’s suspension, a spokeswoman for the center said the group does not comment on ongoing cases.

The spokeswoman added, “While not speaking to any case specifically, in general, the SafeSport Code allows the Center to implement temporary measures to restrict or suspend participation in some or all aspects of sport activity pending the completion of an investigation.”

A report published by ESPN on Tuesday said Foley’s suspension followed complaints lodged with US Center for SafeSport last week by four women associated with US Ski and Snowboard — three former athletes and a former employee of the organization.

The allegations detailed in the report include “sexual assault, unwanted kissing and touching, and coercing them into taking nude photos,” according to ESPN, which reports it interviewed the women and reviewed documents related to the case.

When asked about the allegations, Foley’s attorney, Howard Jacobs, referred CNN to a statement he provided to ESPN on Sunday.

“Any allegations of sexual misconduct being made against him are false,” Jacobs told ESPN. “Mr. Foley has not engaged in any conduct that violates the SafeSport Code, and he will cooperate with the U.S. Center for SafeSport when and if they contact him.”

Foley was the first coach of the US Snowboard team in 1994 and went on to become the head coach of the entire US Snowboarding program, according to the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

He has coached every US Olympic snowboard team since the discipline was added to the Olympics in 1998 and is the recipient of numerous awards from the US Ski and Snowboard Association, the committee said.

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