Figure skating: Sherbrooke coach suspended for misconduct

Figure skating: Sherbrooke coach suspended for misconduct

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A figure skating coach from Sherbrooke was suspended Monday for a period of one year by Skate Canada for misconduct. 

Marie-Christine Grenier, who was still teaching figure skating to children and teenagers at the Sherbrooke Artistic Skating Club (CPA) in recent days, was added to the list of suspended persons yesterday.

“I am very surprised”, insisted with emotion Lucie Bouffard, one of the persons in charge of the CPA. She is also the mother of the suspended trainer.

“The case is in the hands of the lawyers, I can't say more,” she added.

Ms. Bouffard nevertheless confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the organization would notify the athletes and the parents of the coach's suspension in the hours that followed.

Alleged acts

According to our information, an investigation was conducted in recent weeks and people in the skating community were questioned about Ms. Grenier's practices. However, it has not been possible to ascertain the nature of the misconduct at this time.

While Skate Canada boasts of updating a list of the names of expelled and suspended coaches, the organization does not inform its members or the media of the nature of the misconduct. It is impossible to know whether the alleged actions were taken in the arena, in a training or competition context. The organization also does not give details of the investigation.

Reached by email on Tuesday, Skate Canada said from the outset that it takes issues of harassment, bullying and abuse seriously. “We have a comprehensive process to deal with allegations of such behavior,” it read.

The Director of Communications, Emma Bowie, then confirms that “Marie-Christine Grenier is not authorized to participate in any activity in which Skate Canada registrants or members take part, during the period of her suspension, from October 24 2022 to October 23, 2023”. And, that under their policy “and to respect the confidentiality of the complainant, Skate Canada will not provide further details”.

Other Quebecers on the list

On the side of Patinage Québec, this organization which supervises skaters and coaches in Quebec affiliated with Skate Canada, it is indicated by email that it “was informed at the end of the day yesterday of the one-year suspension of Marie-Christine Grenier for misconduct. The managers of the club and the programs where she coached have also been notified of the suspension,” wrote Any-Claude Dion, General Manager.

Regarding the investigation and the nature of the complaint, Patinage Québec returns the ball to Skate Canada, even if the coach is part of its organization.

In recent years, according to the list put online by Skate Canada, three Quebec coaches have been expelled for misconduct. In the list of “provisional suspensions”, two Quebec coaches are there, Marie-Christine Grenier and Richard Gauthier. If it is still impossible to know the nature of Ms. Grenier's misconduct, Richard Gauthier is accused of gross indecency, sexual assault and indecent assault on a skater. The legal proceedings are still ongoing. Skate Canada, for its part, lists on its site that Richard Gauthier's infraction is an “alleged misconduct”.

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