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Athletes Advisory Council

Due Process For Athletes

The concept of “due pro-

cess” is something that you might not have the opportu- nity to think about on a regu- lar basis, but it is certainly an idea that is fundamental to our American way of life. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution provide that no person should be deprived of their life, liber- ty, or property without due process of law. Part of this concept of due process is the idea of “procedural” due process – that a person is entitled

to certain proce-

dural protections when the government attempts to de- prive a person of his or her life, liberty or property. idea of


due process ma something

thing ou pic mo

with athletics with athletics or with the Olympic movement in gen- eral. But the U pic

associat with the in gen-

Olympic Committee and its National Governing Go

National ies, lik

oponents of the principle that an athlete is entitled to minimum standards of fun- damental fairnessdamental fairness before he or she is sanctioned or declared ineligible to compete. The Ted Stevens Olympic and Amat e u r Sports Act requires an athlete have

minimum stand a hearing before March 2016 | USA Shooting News 15

But the United States ee and its Bod-

ed Stat

ies, like USA Shooting, are proponents of the principle an athle e is entitled ds of

USA Shooting, are

being declared ineligible to compete, and the USOC ac- tually has a “Due Process Checklist” that contains procedural protections


The idea of procedural due process may not be you associate or

signed to ensure that such a hearing is fair and impartial. Among other things, an ath- lete should be given written notice of the charges or the rules he or she is accused of violating and be advised of the consequences if those charges are found to be true. The athlete should have a reasonable amount of time to prepare a defense and the ability to be represented by legal counsel if he or she desires such representation. The hearing should be con- ducted before fair and LPSDUWLDO


and the athlete should have


during that hearing to call witnesses, pres- ent oral and

witnesses, pres- ent oral and

written evidence, and con- front and cross-examine any adverse witnesses. An ath- lete is further entitled to a timely, written and reasoned decision as well as written notice of appeal procedures. If the athlete decides to ap- peal, an athlete is also en- titled to prompt and fair de- termination of the appeal. This quick summary is

just intended to give you an idea of some of the rights you have that you might not have known existed before now – the full USOC Due Process Checklist can be found at athlete-resources/athlete- ombudsman/athlete-rights. In addition, if you ever have a question about your due process rights with respect to competition, or any other athletes’ rights issues, you can always contact one of your athlete representatives or the USOC Athlete Om- EXGVPDQ·V RIÀ FH

By Mary Weeks AAC Representative

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