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Hockey Australia’s research panel has been changed to avoid conflicts of interest

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The team investigating bullying allegations at Hockey Australia has been changed to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

Initially, attorney Richard Redman and Ernst and Young partner Adam Carrel would lead the independent investigation.

But Hockey Australia announced this week that Bruce Collins, Gabrielle Trainor and Moya Dodd will lead the investigation instead.

This followed concerns about the original investigation team’s ties with current Hockey Australia staff, including CEO Matt Favier, according to the Australian Associated Press.

Allegations of bullying, body shame and homophobic behavior within Hockey Australia have emerged, leading to an independent investigation ordered last month.

It came after reports that more than half of the Australian women’s hockey team were contemplating a strike for the Olympics, so unhappy with senior management.

Director Toni Cumpston and coach Paul Gaudoin are particularly criticized.

The abolition of 2019 International Hockey Federation (FIH) goalkeeper of the year Rachael Lynch and former 2021 team captain Georgina Morgan has also been cited as a major reason for disharmony.

A special complaints procedure has been set up with Sport Integrity Australia to receive and handle complaints about conduct within the governing body.

Members of the Australian women's hockey team are reportedly considering strike action due to the culture of Getty Images sport
Members of the Australian women’s hockey team are reportedly considering strike action due to the culture of Getty Images sport

“It has always been Hockey Australia’s intention for this review to be robust, transparent and independent,” said Melanie Woosnam, the president of Hockey Australia.

“The creation of a review panel led by Bruce Collins makes it clear that these principles are fundamental to the Council.”

Favier recently stated that he was determined to take “the necessary steps” once the investigation was completed.

Collins is an international sports attorney who has served on the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) tribunals.

Trainor is a member of the Australian Football League Commission.

Dodd, an ex-member of the FIFA council, played for the Australia national football team.

Australia, currently ranked second in the world, has won three Olympic gold medals in women’s hockey, the last being home soil in Sydney 2000.

The Hockey Rose also finished second in the inaugural edition of the FIH Hockey Pro League in 2019.

Australia has booked a place in Tokyo 2020 through the Olympic qualifiers, postponed to next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.



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