A member of Bobsleigh Canada is defending the federation after Kaillie Humphries’ harassment allegations against its head coach.
On Saturday, Justin Kripps said Bobsleigh Canada has a “safe and supportive” environment.
“I can’t comment too much on her specific situation. I don’t know a lot of the details, but I can say at Bobsleigh Canada I enjoy a very safe and supportive training environment and I’ve talked to a lot of my World Cup teammates and they feel the same way,” Kripps said.
Teammates Cynthia Appiah and Alysia Rissling defended Kripps comments after he was criticized on Twitter:
On Thursday, Humphries announced on Twitter she is planning to represent the United States instead of Canada amid a dispute with Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton over a harassment complaint she filed last year.
Humphries has won two Olympic gold medals and a bronze for Canada and is one of the top drivers in women’s bobsledding history. However, she hasn’t competed in over a year after filing claims of harassment and abuse with Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton. She is currently suing the organization to secure her release so she can compete for the United States.
Kripps said he spoke up so the voice of Bobsleigh Canada members could be heard amid the controversy.
“With all this going on, it doesn’t seem like we’re being spoken for on our behalf. We feel we have a good environment. I hope the whole thing resolves itself pretty soon,” he said.
Humphries married Travis Armbruster, a former U.S. men’s bobsledder, on Saturday in San Diego, Calif. The marriage would allow her to race for her husband-to-be’s country at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
However, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton will have to secure her release by Sept. 30 in order for her to join Team USA by the international deadline for next season.
She has not shared specific details of her harassment allegations, which she first announced in January.
“Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton abides by its harassment and discrimination policy that has been in place since 2006,” the organization’s spokesperson, Chris Dornan, told Global News in a statement on Friday. He declined to comment on the lawsuit, which was filed in Alberta civil court.
“As for the investigation of Ms. Humphries’ discrimination and harassment complaint made under the policy, we can’t provide any comments since this investigation is strictly private and confidential as provided in the policy,” he said. “We look forward to the findings of the complaint review.”
With files from Global News Online Journalist Josh E. Elliott