USA Curling defends CEO’s record as head of NWSL, one day after scathing report

EAGAN, Minn. — USA Curling said CEO Jeff Plush « acted in accordance with the prioritization of athlete safety » during his tenure at the helm of the National Women’s Soccer League, where an investigation found years of emotional abuse. systemic and sexual misconduct.

The curling board met on Monday after a report into the independent inquiry into abuse in women’s football.

The Football Inquiry found that Plush, who served as NWSL commissioner from 2014 to 2017, knew of allegations of sexual harassment and coercion against Portland Thorns coach Paul Riley, but did nothing. done to prevent Riley from continuing to coach in the league. Sally Yates, who conducted the football survey, said Plush did not respond to interview requests.

In a press release, the curling board said it would « move forward in a way that examines the facts and prioritizes safety for all ».

US Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland sent a letter to staff saying the federation was in touch with USA Curling about the investigations.

« We understand that they are reviewing the findings of this investigation as well as the findings of their own previously conducted investigation » into Plush’s role at the NWSL, Hirshland wrote.

The USOPC has been forced into sweeping reforms following sex abuse scandals, including that former US gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, who sexually abused hundreds of female gymnasts.

« Our determination to make participation in Olympic and Paralympic sport safe for all guides our work every day, » said Hirshland. « And yet, we know that this work is never finished. »

The Football Inquiry report says Thorns player Mana Shim told Plush in 2015 of Riley’s advances, as well as his retaliation when she asked him to quit. Plush forwarded Shim’s email to US Soccer, but the league took no action against Riley.


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