Women’s Sports Foundation
Women’s Sports Foundation
Last week, 66 speedskaters filed a proposal asking that Andy Gabel receive a lifetime ban from US Speedskating, and that he be removed from the United States Speedskating Hall of Fame, due to his admitted “inappropriate relationship” of his minor teammates. This petition asks for your signature as a sign of support as well.
Last year, Bridie Farrell accused Andy Gabel of molesting her when she was just 15 years old and Gabel was 33, on NPR radio. Within days, Gabel resigned from his positions within U.S. Speedskating and the International Skating Union, and publicly confessed to “inappropriate” relationships with young female athletes. Less than a week later, another skater-victim, Nikki Meyer, shared similar allegations; that Gabel forced her to have sex with him in 1991 when she was 15 years old. Additionally, since Farrell and Meyer have come forward, documents of another investigation for possible inappropriate sexual contact with another skater who was a minor surfaced.
US Speedskating conducted a year-long investigation into Andy Gabel’s conduct, but refuses to make the results public. At last year’s Speedskating Board of Directors meeting, an almost identical proposal was submitted, but was ignored.
Most Hall of Fames are designed to immortalize an athlete’s noble accomplishments, including contributions that honor the sport. The Speedskating Hall of Fame is no different; inductees are “judged on [their] record, ability, integrity, sportsmanship and character,” Individuals who have engaged in sexual relations minors, however, should be disqualified from any sport’s Hall of Fame, particularly when the inductee inflicted sexual damage on fellow athletes.
As a current member in good standing, an Olympian and a member of skating’s Hall of Famer, Andy Gabel has entre to young children in Speedskating.
A lifetime ban from the sport and removal from the Hall of Fame is the least an Olympic sport’s National Governing Body can do to preserve the safety of its athletes and to send a firm message to those that might abuse their power within sport.
Please take a stand against sexual abuse in club and Olympic sports, and sign this petition to remove Andrew Gabel from the U.S. Speedskating Hall of Fame and revoke his lifetime membership in the Olympic sport.
U.S. Olympic Speedskating Board of Directors, Women’s Sports Foundation
Ted Morris, Executive Director, U.S. Speedskating
On behalf of victims of sexual abuse and in support of the 66 speedskaters who have already submitted a proposal to the Board of Directors, we are asking you to remove Andy Gabel from the Speedskating Hall of Fame and revoke his lifetime membership in U.S. Speedskating.