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Saturday, December 31, 2005

It wasn't me

He didn't touch me

U.S. Women Accuse a Coach of Harassment

Published: December 31, 2005

SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 30 - Some members of the United States women's skeleton team, including the 2002 Olympic gold medalist Tristan Gale, have accused Coach Tim Nardiello of a pattern of sexual harassment dating to 2002.

Although Nardiello has denied the accusations, officials at the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation decided Thursday that he would remain the coach for the Turin Olympics in February but would be asked to resign three days after the Winter Games end.

That decision, announced to the federation's board by the interim executive director, Robie Vaughn, in an e-mail message, further angered the athletes who made the accusations and another coach who said he had witnessed harassing behavior. On Friday, one of those athletes, Felicia Canfield, sent an e-mail message to the board stating that she wanted her complaint to be considered a formal grievance against Nardiello.

In interviews and in e-mail messages sent to the federation and shared with The New York Times, athletes asserted that Nardiello had made sexual advances toward women on the skeleton team, had made sexually explicit comments and had barged into hotel rooms while women were undressing.

Terry Allen, another women's coach, said in an interview that he first told the federation in 2002 about inappropriate behavior he had witnessed between Nardiello and athletes.

Nardiello denied the accusations, dismissing them as complaints from athletes who did not make the Olympic team.

"I would have to say that is absolutely not true, and I would leave any other comments to counsel," Nardiello said in a telephone interview from his home in Lake Placid, N.Y., where the federation is based. He did not provide the name of a lawyer.

posted by Steve @ 1:40:00 AM

1:40:00 AM

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