Picture: REUTERS/VINCENT WEST
Picture: REUTERS/VINCENT WEST

Canoe Racing New Zealand (CRNZ) said it has expelled double Olympic gold medallist Alan Thompson from the governing body following three independent investigations into historical allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

The investigations conducted by Wellington QC Victoria Casey found that Thompson, 62, acted in a manner “unbecoming of a member” and brought the sport into disrepute by making “inappropriate sexualised remarks” to women athletes, CRNZ said in a statement.

Thompson’s lawyer David Fraundorfer told news website Stuff in a statement that the Olympian had rejected all allegations.

“Mr Thompson is saddened that his relationship with CRNZ has ended after his many years of service to the sport. Even so, he does not regret speaking out in relation to the welfare issues the sport faced,” Fraundorfer said.

“He continues to reject the allegations made against him and highlights he was willing to participate in a process such as an arbitration that would allow him to call witnesses in support, test the substance of the complaints and put forward his case.”

Stuff said Thompson had been part of a group of past and present athletes and former staff members that had raised concerns about CRNZ’s women’s high performance programme.

Local media reported that the complaints against Thompson, who won two Olympic golds at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, related to incidents in 1998 and 2014 and that the allegations were raised with CRNZ in October 2020.

CRNZ said Thompson was also accused of indecently exposing himself to a female athlete on tour in Europe in 1991, and that clubs voted to expel him during the governing body’s special general meeting late on Wednesday.

“The CRNZ board took the extraordinary measure of recommending Thompson’s expulsion following the outcome of three independent investigations. The vote was taken immediately after the SGM via independent scrutineers,” it said.

Reuters

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