international lawyer for Canada's Safe Sport programDeveloped by the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) with funding from the Government of Canada and a $10 million investment from the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), the Office of Canada's Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC) launched its first phase of operations on June 20, 2022. The OSIC serves as the central hub for Canada's independent safe sport program. 

What Violations Are Investigated Under the OSIC Safe Sport Program?

The OSIC receives reports about alleged violations of the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS). This document sets a harmonized approach to defining prohibited behavior while providing a framework for determining appropriate sanctions.

UCCMS safe sport violations can include:

  • Psychological maltreatment
  • Physical maltreatment
  • Sexual maltreatment
  • Grooming
  • Neglect
  • Boundary transgressions
  • Discrimination
  • Aiding and abetting
  • Failure to report
  • Intentionally reporting a false allegation
  • Interference with or manipulation of process
  • Retaliation

According to our international sports law attorney, complaints can be made through a dedicated and confidential online platform with operators from the Canadian Sport Helpline available to help users through the complaint process.

What Happens After a Complaint is Made?

After a safe sport complaint is filed with the OSIC, there will be a preliminary assessment to determine:

  • Whether the OSIC has jurisdiction
  • Whether the complaint is admissible
  • The proper course of action to follow

According to our internationally renowned safesport attorney, a complaint may be followed by an investigation that looks into the potential maltreatment alleged in the complaint by individual participants of a Program Signatory or a Sport Environment Assessment that could look into broader and more systemic maltreatment issues either within a single sport or broader Canadian sporting infrastructure.

What Are the Potential Sanctions?

Sanctions imposed by Canada's Safe Sport program must be proportionate and reasonable relative to the maltreatment that occured. OSIC will consider factors such as whether there is a power imbalance in the relationship, if there is a history of past infractions, the ages of the persons involved, the potential for an ongoing safety threat, and the impact on the broader sporting community.

Possible sanctions could include:

  • Verbal or written apology
  • Verbal or written warning
  • Education
  • Probation
  • Suspension
  • Eligibility restrictions
  • Permanent ineligibility
  • Discretionary sanctions such as fines to compensate for direct losses

Have You Been Accused of a Violation in Canada? Contact Our Experienced SafeSport Attorney Today!

If you have been accused of a UCCMS safe sport violation by the OSIC, it is critical to speak with our experienced SafeSport attorney as soon as possible. Contact our firm online or call us directly at +1-207-747-5899 to schedule your free consultation. We are devoted to the very specific practice of sports law and have represented athletes from over 50 countries spanning more than 50 sports, including Canada. Our SafeSport lawyer is a dedicated advocate for athletes and will work diligently to protect your athletic career and professional reputation. 

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