COA leader Kitty Chiller sanctioned for ‘judging irregularities’ in Olympic qualifying | Gymnastic


Kitty Chiller, deputy chief executive of the National Sports Tribunal of Australia and a member of the Australian Olympic Committee executive, has been disciplined for her role in ‘judging irregularities’ at an Olympic qualifying event in 2021 and banned to represent international gymnastics bodies for two years.

At the start of the week, the disciplinary committee of the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation announcement that an investigation revealed violations of International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) rules during the 2021 Oceania Continental Championships in Rhythmic Gymnastics.

As well as sanctioning Chiller, who was at the time the chief executive of Gymnastics Australia, the commission suspended two Australian gymnastics judges, Virginia Elliott and Erin Pankoke and sentenced Gymnastics Australia and the Oceania Gymnastics Union to more than 7,000 $ each plus fees.

All sanctioned parties have the right to appeal the decision, within 21 days.

This raises questions as to whether Chiller’s sanction was compatible with his appointment to the NST.

Former gymnast Mary-Anne Monckton, a two-time Commonwealth Games silver medalist, tweeted on Wednesday: “How does Kitty Chiller manage to keep her job as Deputy Chief Executive of the National Sports Court?”

The championships were held on the Gold Coast last May, as part of the wider Australian Gymnastics Championships. Lidiia Iakovleva narrowly beat Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva with a differential of just 2.5 points. According to Gymnastics Australia website, the test was “re-judged” following a “technical anomaly”. Iakovleva, 18, represented Australia at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, while Kiroi-Bogatyreva missed out.

Chiller, a former modern pentathlete who competed at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, was the first woman to lead an Australian Olympic team as chef de mission, at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She courted controversy with her public criticism of tennis star Nick Kyrgios, who pulled out of Olympic competition for what he described as “unfair and unfair treatment”.

Chiller released a statement at the time saying, “When it comes to selection, every athlete competing is treated fairly and equitably.”

More recently, Chiller led Gymnastics Australia through a turbulent period as he dealt with allegations of widespread abuse in the sport. An independent review by the Australian Human Rights Commission found ‘systemic risk factors’ in sport that heightened the risk of child abuse, sexual harassment and bullying.

Gymnastics Australia’s response to complaints of abuse during Chiller’s tenure was criticized. Earlier this year, the ABC reported that Chiller’s office co-drafted policy governing what has been called an “independent” complaints process, which has seen some complaints deemed “out of reach”.

Gymnastics Australia told Guardian Australia it was aware of the decision and would “take time to review the decision and the next steps for the organization and the sport”.

A spokesperson said: “As those affected have 21 days to appeal against the sanctions, Gymnastics Australia will reserve any further comment on the matter at this time.”

A spokesman for the Australian Olympic Committee said it had taken note of the sanction and was “unaware of the nature or details of the matter and further notes that there is an opportunity to appeal” . The spokesperson added: “While qualifying events are the responsibility of individual sports federations, the AOC has full confidence in the integrity of the nomination and selection process.”

The AOC did not respond to a specific question from Guardian Australia as to whether it was appropriate for Chiller to remain in his position on the AOC executive, given the adverse finding and his connection. with the Australian Olympic team.

Guardian Australia has sought comment from Chiller, via the National Sports Tribunal, but has not received a response as of press time. The body was established by the federal government in 2020 following a review of sporting integrity provisions in Australia. It is run by John Boultbee, a veteran Australian sports administrator.

On Wednesday, a representative of the Tribunal told the ABC that “Ms. Chiller has had and will have no involvement in gymnastics matters (of any kind) that come to the NST.”

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