USOPC statement regarding latest Section 8 complaint against USA Badminton
November 12, 2019
To all USA Badminton athletes, and the badminton and Para-badminton community in the
I’m writing to let you know that earlier today, I filed a complaint against USA Badminton
under Section 8 of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s bylaws. In filing
the complaint, the USOPC is seeking to revoke USA Badminton’s recognition as the
National Governing Body for badminton and Para-badminton in the United States and has
offered USAB the option of voluntarily surrendering its recognition.
This isn’t a step I’ve taken lightly, but it is a necessary one and in the best interest of the
athletes we serve. We have set high standards in order to associate with the Olympic and
Paralympic movements in the United States, and we must hold organizations accountable
when they don’t live up to those standards.
In 2018, a compliance audit highlighted a number of troubling findings, several of which
remained unresolved during a follow-up review that was conducted earlier this year. The
2019 follow-up report, which also identified additional compliance issues not referenced in
the 2018 audit, can be found here. We have attempted to work with USAB’s leadership
over the course of the last year to address our concerns, however those efforts have not
yielded the results necessary to give me confidence in USAB’s ability to continue to serve
its athletes as an NGB. We remain committed to working with USAB’s leadership to
address our concerns but have so far not found a willing partner.
The next step in the Section 8 process is for me to select an independent, three-person
hearing panel with representatives from the USOPC board of directors, the NGB Council
and the Athletes’ Advisory Council. The panel will next review my complaint and USAB’s
response, hold a hearing, create a report and a recommendation for the full USOPC
board, and then the board will take an action.
A formal timeframe is not described in our bylaws, so I don’t know exactly how long this
process may take. At minimum, we expect it will take several weeks, perhaps a few
It is important to note that during this process – and per our bylaws – USAB will continue
to operate as a fully recognized member NGB of the USOPC. We are not shutting down
USAB. Nor is the USOPC taking over USAB. In the immediate term there are no changes
for USAB members or clubs.
Upon conclusion of the process described above, should USAB lose recognition, its future
would be decided by the USAB board of directors.
If USAB loses its recognition, the organization would essentially sever its affiliation with the
Olympic and Paralympic movements and as such, the USOPC would, on an interim basis,
assume control of USAB’s high-performance program. This would help ensure that
Olympic and Paralympic-caliber badminton athletes have the support they need to excel
on and off the field of play. As part of that oversight, the USOPC would also be
responsible for ensuring the fair selection of athletes and teams for so-called “protected
competitions” (i.e. major international competitions like the Olympic and Paralympic
Games, or qualifying events for the same). The USOPC would remain in that role until a
new or existing organization has been identified to assume the responsibility of serving as
the recognized NGB for badminton and Para-badminton.
Today is the first step in an important process. Recognizing that what follows this process
isn’t perfectly clear, we have concluded that the uncertainty this will no doubt bring is
better than allowing the status quo to continue. The athletes deserve better and we simply
must hold organizations accountable if they can’t meet our standards.
Finally, we have created a few questions and answers to help address inquiries that have
been raised about the Section 8 process. Those are available at this link. We hope they
are helpful and ask for you to reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any
questions or concerns.
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