Kaillie Humphries free to compete for U.S. after Bobsleigh Canada grants her release

Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton says it has released Kaillie Humphries, allowing her to compete for the United States.

The organization announced the move Saturday night in a letter from its board of directors. 

Humphries, a two-time Olympic bobsled champion for Canada, had asked Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton for her release Aug. 3. She went to a Calgary judge seeking an injunction forcing BCS to let her go, but was denied last week.

Humphries then took her dispute with Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton to the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada. 

“This was not an easy decision, nor was it one we took lightly,” BCS said in its statement.

“Alongside our stakeholders, we carefully weighed all the relevant factors in this important and complex decision of releasing a medal-potential athlete to one of our top competitors.

“Ultimately, we firmly believe that supporting our current athletes and the positive culture they have developed as a team will foster the environment we need to successfully grow our sport and slide onto the international podium both now, and in the future.”

Humphries filed a harassment complaint with BCS over a year ago against a coach and the organization’s management, stating BCS was in violation of its own harassment and discrimination policies.

BCS handed the complaint to an independent third-party company that specializes in investigating such claims.

Hill Advisory Services concluded “in the investigator’s opinion there has been no breach to relevant policy.”

USA Bobsled was prepared to take Humphries on, but she requires a release from BCS by Monday in order to compete for the Americans in 2019-20.

According to a statement provided to CBC Sports from USA Bobsled CEO John Rosen “USA Bobsled is honoured Kallie wishes to compete with us. USABS is very proud of the history of achievement from our athletes, and we welcome Kaillie’s desire to be part of that proud tradition.”

USA Bobsled coach Mike Kohn, when informed of the decision by The Associated Press, said “this is what we’ve been waiting for and we cannot wait to work with Kaillie.”

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