Member Code of Conduct
USA Weightlifting is the National Governing Body for the sport of Olympic Weightlifting and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee; we operate in the public spotlight and are expected to conduct our affairs on a basis consistent with the great trust that has been placed in us. This requires that our membership behaviors conform to the highest ethical principles.
The mission of USA Weightlifting is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of Olympic Weightlifting. USA Weightlifting grants the privilege of membership to individuals and groups committed to the same mission. The privilege of membership may, therefore, be withdrawn or denied by USA Weightlifting at any time when determined that a member’s conduct is inconsistent with the mission of the organization or the best interest of the sport and those who participate.
All members, employees, contractors, board members, and officers, pledge to abide by the following Code of Conduct:
- Abide by all USA Weightlifting, USOPC, USADA, US Center for SafeSport & International Weightlifting Federation rules, selection procedures, funding procedures, codes of ethics, codes of conduct, international codes of conduct and safety guidelines.
- As an ambassador, exhibit the highest standards of fairness, discipline, ethical behavior and genuine sportsmanship by mutually respecting and bringing honor to USA Weightlifting, the United States and the Olympic Movement. Including but not limited to adhering to the US Center for SafeSport Code, Olympic movement Code on Manipulation of Competitions, US Olympic & Paralympic Anti-Doping Protocol, local and state laws, federal laws and any other applicable code endorsed by USA Weightlifting or the USOPC.
- Respect teammates, athletes, coaches, officials, spectators, volunteers, USADA representatives, sponsors and National Office staff of USA Weightlifting without regard to race, religion, national origin, age, civil status, veteran status, marital status, language, social condition, mental or physical ability, sexual preference, or gender identity.
- Will not use offensive language/gestures or non-consensual physical contact as a response to the referees/jury/officials decision as an expression of frustration and/or self-admonishment.
- Will not engage in any form of discriminatory, verbal, physical or sexual harassment/abuse, fraud, stealing, deception or dishonesty related to USA Weightlifting events or activities.
- Will not disrespect, intimidate or embarrass other members, teammates, athletes, coaches, officials, spectators, sponsors, volunteers, Board of Directors, Committee members, Athlete Advisory Council Representatives, USADA and/or USA Weightlifting and National Office staff in person, electronically, and/or through social networking venues (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, blogs or websites, etc.).
- Will not participate in any non-consensual sexual contact or advance or other inappropriate sexually oriented behavior or action directed towards any member by a coach, official, athletic trainer or other person who is in a position of authority.
- Respect and not cause damage to private or public property of others while at an event sanctioned by USA Weightlifting or at a designated USA Weightlifting facility.
- Will not sell or distribute any substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list of banned substances.
- Will not knowingly misrepresent competitive achievements, professional qualifications, education, experience, eligibility, criminal record or affiliations of one self or another member.
- Will not misrepresent the nature or extent of an injury in order to decline an invitation to participate in or withdraw from a competition, training camp or other similar activity.
- Will not use illegal drugs in the presence of teammates, athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, spectators, sponsors and staff of USA Weightlifting and/or at any USA Weightlifting event or activity.
- Will not commit a doping violation as defined by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) or the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).
Disciplinary action for violation of any provision in this Code of Conduct may include any or all of the following: (i) a reprimand; (ii) suspension from competition participation (iii) withholding of Direct Athlete Support payments; (iv) imposition of fines (including with respect to reimbursement of expenses incurred by USAW); (v) removal from team; (vi) termination of memberships with USA Weightlifting (vii) any combination of the foregoing, in addition to review against the USA Weightlifting Code of Ethics.
The USA Weightlifting Ethics Committee shall be responsible for investigating and recommending for action any violation of the Code of Conduct, and will ensure investigations are conducted by disinterested parties.
If a USA Weightlifting member receives a disciplinary penalty or otherwise has a grievance related to this Code of Conduct, the member has the right to file a written request with the Board of Directors and CEO of USA Weightlifting within thirty (30) day of the action giving rise to the members claimed grievance, to seek a review of the action in question pursuant to USA Weightlifting Bylaws and Grievance Procedures in front of independent members of the Judicial Committee. The Athlete has a right to a hearing per Article 9 of the USOPC Bylaws prior to USA Weightlifting denying the right to compete of any Athlete.
USA Weightlifting strictly prohibits retaliation against any complainant by the organization or any member of the organization.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing herein shall conflict with or curtail the members’ rights with respect to disputes involving the members’ right to participate in protected events as set forth in the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act (section 220510 of the United States Code.)
In the event any member of USA Weightlifting has a complaint/grievance that falls under the control of USA Weightlifting, NO individual may contact any sponsor (i.e. employees, partners, suppliers, concerned individuals, et. Al.) for any reason related to the compliant’/grievance until such time that all hearing (including appeals ) related to the compliant/grievance have been fully completed.
This code of conduct is not designed to be conclusive or extensive and should be read in conjunction with USA Weightlifting’s Code of Ethics.
Questions on this code of conduct may be address to the USA Weightlifting Ethics Committee firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporting a violation against this code can be made via the USA Weightlifting Ethics portal located here.
Resources external to USA Weightlifting include:
The Office of the Athlete Ombuds, https://www.teamusa.org/athlete-ombuds