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Fri, February 03, 2023

Three former US snowboarders have filed a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by ex-coach Peter Foley

Three former US snowboarders have filed a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by ex-coach Peter Foley

Rosey Fletcher, Erin O'Malley and Callan Chythlook-Sifsof are suing Peter Foley, plus US Ski and Snowboard (USSS) and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), accusing the governing bodies of hiding the alleged abuse.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, alleges former coach Peter Foley committed sexual assault and battery against the plaintiffs and other women for “nearly twenty years” with the “assistance, permission and endorsement” of the USOPC and the USSS. 

“The system is focused on money and medals,” said Sigrid McCawley, the lead attorney representing the three snowboarders. “It’s not focused on protecting these athletes.”

Rosey Fletcher, one of the plaintiffs, is a three-time Olympian who won a bronze medal in 2006. She said the federation needs to “re-establish that trust” so parents can send their children to national and international competitions confident that officials will look after the athletes rather than look the other way.

In a statement, USSS said the organization first became aware of allegations against Foley in February 2022 and immediately reported them to SafeSport.

Foley strongly denied the allegations, telling reporters at the Winter Olympics in China last February that, “I was totally surprised by the allegations. I vehemently deny the allegations.”

SafeSport said in an email on Thursday: “The Center does not comment on matters to protect the integrity of its investigative process.”

In a separate lawsuit, also filed Thursday, former USSS communications staffer Lindsey Nikola, alleged Foley coerced her into posing nude and, at another time, crawled into her bed and groped her. After she confronted him, the suit alleges, he retaliated in part by ensuring she would not accompany the snowboard team to the Olympics.

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