Kaillie Humphries alleges abuse by Bobsleigh Canada head coach Todd Hays

Three-time Olympic medallist Kaillie Humphries says Bobsleigh Canada head coach Todd Hays verbally and mentally abused her during the 2017-18 season.In August 2018, Humphries filed a harassment complaint with Bobsleigh Canada saying she no longer felt safe training and competing with Hays coaching her and could no longer compete for the team."I'm losing my career and I don't want to lose my career based off of stepping forward, having the courage and the strength to stand up and to make a claim," Humphries said exclusively to CBC Sports."I need to be the best athlete I can be and go where it's safe and where I have an opportunity to continue my career. And unfortunately, that is not with Bobsleigh Canada anymore." Humphries took last season off from competition awaiting a resolution as the sport organization conducted its own internal investigation.Bobsleigh Canada says the investigation is still ongoing. Humphries has now asked to be released from the team so that she can continue her career competing for the United States. Humphries says she has been forced into this decision.She is suing the national governing body for blocking her release from the team and breaching their contract relating to athlete and coach code of conduct. WATCH | Kaillie Humphries ready to move on from Bobsleigh Canada CBC Sports' Devin Heroux breaks down Kaillie Humphries's decision to leave Bobsleigh Canada and the lawsuit she filed after having her request to be released denied. 2:05"I have done everything I can but cannot return to a work environment that I do not believe is safe," Humphries said."This has been the most difficult ordeal of my life and I want Canada to know that competing for you and winning for you at the Olympics will always be the highlight of my career."In court documents filed by Humphries and her legal team, Humphries names Hays and outlines several occasions during the 2017-18 season when she claims she was emotionally, verbally and mentally abused. Bobsleigh Canada has yet to file a statement of defence. WATCH | Olympic champion Humphries wants release from Bobsleigh Canada Humphries is suing Bobsleigh Canada to be released, claiming that she was in "an environment that is unsafe." 2:54"After over an hour of verbal insults attacking me personally and professionally in a public place with people watching, I began to cry out of frustration, hurt feelings, and astonishment at what he was saying," Humphries said in court documents.CBC Sports has learned that two former athletes coached by Hays during his time with USA Bobsled also filed reports with SafeSport in the United States last October. Speaking anonymously to CBC Sports, they allege Hays was emotionally, verbally and physically abusive."Todd Hays was physically, verbally, and mentally abusive during his tenure and although the team won medals, his behaviour has lasting effects on his athletes, including myself," said one of the former athletes reporting to SafeSport.CBC Sports has not confirmed what the findings of these reports were.The U.S. Center for SafeSport is an independent organization that investigates all types of abuse. The national organization provides a safe and confidential space for individuals to report abuse within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements.  Todd Hays, right, coached the United States women's team before USA Bobsled restructured its program. (Dita Alangkara/The Associated Press)Hays was coach of the U.S. women's program from 2011 until 2014. He's been head coach of Bobsleigh Canada since 2017.USA Bobsled says Hays' contract wasn't renewed in 2014 after restructuring the program and consolidating the men's and women's teams for "better collaboration among the coaches.""That structure did not play to Todd's coaching style," said spokesperson Amanda Bird.In a statement to CBC Sports, Bobsleigh Canada said it abides by its harassment and discrimination policy that has been in place since 2006.The organization said it would not comment on Humphries' specific case, citing the privacy provisions of that policy, until the investigation is ...Read more

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