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Gymnastics Canada statement regarding the outcome of the David and Elizabeth Brubaker discipline hearing

OTTAWA, ON (March 19, 2021) – Gymnastics Canada (GymCan) acknowledges and accepts the decision reached by an independent discipline panel regarding formal written complaints received by GymCan against two elite coaches – David (Dave) Brubaker and Elizabeth (Liz) Brubaker. The decision was received by all parties on Friday, March 12th, 2021.


Gymnastics Canada statement regarding the outcome of the David and Elizabeth Brubaker discipline hearing

Dave Brubaker was formerly the National Team Director for GymCan’s women’s artistic gymnastics national team and was suspended on December 15, 2017 after being charged by the police with multiple offences. While he was acquitted in the criminal process, his suspension was extended and an internal investigation commenced in light of written complaints received by GymCan. Liz Brubaker was provisionally suspended on January 18th, 2019 following the receipt of written complaints by GymCan while she was an elite coach at Bluewater Gymnastics Club in Sarnia, ON.

The discipline panel for this case, chaired by Mr. Daniel Ratushny, held that Dave and Liz Brubaker did breach the relevant organizational Code of Ethics and Conduct policies that were in effect during the time frame when the events occurred (1996-2017).

The Panel ruled that Dave Brubaker is permanently banned and prohibited from any future application or attempt to gain reinstatement, membership, or any other status with Gymnastics Canada member associations or clubs. 

The Panel further ruled that Liz Brubaker’s suspension is extended until January 18, 2024, pending the completion of imposed reinstatement conditions.

Respecting that there remains a 15-day appeal period for the Respondents, GymCan will not comment further on the details of the decision until the appeal process is complete. 

“On behalf of Gymnastics Canada, I want to thank the Panel for their detailed and diligent work to prepare their decision, and I want to express my gratitude to the athlete complainants for their cooperation, patience, and bravery throughout this very arduous process,” said Ian Moss, CEO of Gymnastics Canada. “Gymnastics Canada will provide more details surrounding this investigation once the appeal process is complete.”

To reach this outcome, GymCan engaged in a comprehensive process based on organizational policies that commenced with internal review and a professional assessment of the written complaints by the organization’s third-party Harassment Officer and legal counsel. Upon receiving their recommendation to initiate an investigation into the formal complaints, GymCan secured an independent legal expert with extensive practice in the field of workplace investigations, human rights, and administrative law to conduct a neutral investigation.  

The investigator interviewed witnesses for both parties, including Dave and Liz Brubaker, and delivered a report detailing the facts of the case against the relevant Codes of Ethics and Conduct. Upon reception and review of the investigator’s report, GymCan’s third-party Harassment Officer formally registered the complaints and directed the case to be heard by an independent discipline panel in accordance with GymCan’s policies.  

At this time, GymCan secured a legal expert with experience facilitating disciplinary proceedings in sport to serve as Case Manager. The Case Manager then constructed an independent discipline panel composed of two lawyers and a gymnastics expert who  heard evidence presented by both parties, to reach a decision regarding the alleged policy breaches, and direct sanctions to be imposed by GymCan. The final decision reached by the discipline panel followed a disciplinary hearing that took place from September 3-17, 2020 with closing submissions completed on October 9, 2020.  

GymCan recognizes that ensuring a fair, neutral, and thorough process takes time and we thank all parties for their patience, cooperation, and engagement in this process. To respect the privacy of all parties involved, Gymnastics Canada will not make any further statements until the completion of the appeals process and ask that the privacy and confidentiality of all individuals involved be respected. 

GymCan embraces our responsibility to take a leadership role in fostering positive, healthy, and fulfilling gymnastics environments. Together with our provincial members, we continue to implement Safe Sport policy, education, and advocacy initiatives with the safety and well-being of all participants at the forefront. For more information, please visit: http://gymcan.org/programs/safe-sport/overview.  

ABOUT GYMNASTICS CANADA

First established in 1969, Gymnastics Canada has been supporting the mastery of movement in Canada for five decades as the national governing body for the sport of gymnastics in Canada. We work closely with the twelve provincial federations and 700 local clubs to provide a broad range of programs and services to meet the needs of all participants. From athlete development, to coach and judge education, Gymnastics Canada sets the operating standards and practices for the sport in Canada. Our mandate is to promote and provide positive and diverse gymnastics experiences through the delivery of quality and safe gymnastics programming. Visitwww.gymcan.org for more information, or follow us @gymcan1. From here, we soar. 

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For more information, contact:

Julie Forget                                                                     
Director, Communications and Marketing                  
Gymnastics Canada                                                                   
Cell: 819.210.2064                                                         
Email: jforget@gymcan.org