US Sailing files lawsuit against AmericaOne
Published on January 16th, 2024
Nearly a year ago, actions involving US Sailing and its U.S. Olympic Sailing Program led to the departure of the program’s Executive Director (Paul Cayard), United States Sailing Foundation Chairman (Bill Ruh), and Performance Director (Leandro Spina).
What emerged from this incident was America One Racing, a developmental program to support USA athletes, but it is now this entity and three individuals that are the focus of legal action by US Sailing which seeks financial damages from those they contend to have harmed athletes. The following comes from US Sailing:
US Sailing, the sport’s National Governing Body and the organization responsible for the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team, in its continued commitment to its athletes, has acted in response to the recently completed independent review by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), and filed a lawsuit against America One and three of its principals and employees for actions that have harmed, and continue to harm, athletes, the US Sailing Team, and US Sailing.
US Sailing’s priority is to support its athletes to the fullest extent possible. Many positive steps have been taken since US Sailing made changes to its Olympic team leadership and operations and the USOPC issued its independent report on its investigation and assessment of US Sailing’s Olympic operations, including:
• US Sailing provided several million dollars in performance support to its athletes for successful training and competition.
• Athletes participating in the process that led to the hiring of an incredibly talented new High Performance Director with significant experiences in successful Olympic teams.
• US Sailing continues to work with the athletes and the USOPC to prioritize athlete safety measures, including as recommended in the USOPC report.
• US Sailing conducted its successful first round of Olympic Trials in Miami January 6-13, with 61 athletes participating, which continues the second week of February.
We remain committed to supporting athletes’ physical and mental preparation as we select our team for the Paris 2024 Games.
In further response to the USOPC’s report, and to recover for the athletes what was lost as indicated in the USOPC’s report, US Sailing has filed a lawsuit against America One and three of its principals and employees for actions that have harmed athletes, the US Sailing Team, and US Sailing’s business and reputation with donors, sponsors, competitive sailors, and the larger sailing community and Olympic movement.
The lawsuit seeks financial damages to replace lost funding and remedy the harm done, and the cessation of wrongful conduct. Damages recovered will support the athletes as intended. US Sailing’s Complaint (filed in the United States District Court in Rhode Island) is publicly available and can be found here.
Regrettably, the defendants in the lawsuit have harmed our athletes, Team, and organization, and US Sailing, as the National Governing Body, is compelled to respond and take all reasonable and appropriate steps to redress that harm, obtain the monetary remedies for the benefit of our athletes and their continued competitive endeavors, and enable the US Sailing Team to best move forward.
US Sailing reaffirms its ongoing commitment to support our athletes, move forward, and improve our Olympic operations and the performance of our athletes in Paris and beyond.
Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Program*:
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7 (41)
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6 (41)
Mixed Two Person Dinghy – 470 (19)
Men’s Skiff – 49er (20)
Women’s Skiff – 49erFX (20)
Men’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class (20)
Women’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class (20)
Men’s Windsurfing – iQFOiL (24)
Women’s Windsurfing – iQFOiL (24)
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17 (19)
* Quota per event in parenthesis but does not include Universality Places (2 men, 2 women)
Venue: Marseille, France
Dates: July 28-August 9
• Paris website: https://www.paris2024.org/en/the-olympic-games-paris-2024/
• World Sailing microsite: https://paris2024.sailing.org/
Source: US Sailing