USA Weightlifting Athlete Safety Policy
Statement of Consolidated Athlete Safety & Athlete Protection Responsibilities for Members
Overall Responsibilities and Rules regarding Safe Sport
Per the USA Weightlifting bylaws, adopted 6/26/2017, section 5.6 all Members of USA Weightlifting are bound by the policies, rules and procedures of the US Center for SafeSport. For a full and up to date SafeSport rules please see https://uscenterforsafesport.org/response-and-resolution/policies-and-procedures/
The rules, policies and procedures of the US Center for SafeSport supersede any previous USA Weightlifting rules and regulations as of 6/26/2017 onwards. In the event that the US Center for SafeSport are unable to adjudicate a case, the USA Weightlifting Ethics Committee will have jurisdiction in accordance with the US Center for SafeSport rules.
The US Center for SafeSport has exclusive jurisdiction in relation to matters related to sexual misconduct, and discretionary jurisdiction in all other matters.
What constitutes abuse?
USA Weightlifting recognizes the definitions of abuse including Sexual, Emotional and Physical abuse as cited in the US Center for SafeSport Code, the current version of which is available at https://uscenterforsafesport.org/response-and-resolution/safesport-code/
Who is covered?
Specific constituent groups are covered below, however for the purposes of the SafeSport code, all USA Weightlifting members, staff, committee members, board of directors and any individual appointed by the NGB to be in a position of authority over athletes is considered a covered individual.
Membership Requirement to Report
USA Weightlifting members are required to report suspected instances of abuse in any category to the relevant body. If there is doubt over the appropriate body, the report should be made to the US Center for SafeSport.
How to make a Report
You can report to SafeSport HERE
You can report to USA Weightlifting HERE
For ethics complaints please complete the form on our homepage
Current and Finalized Sanctions regarding Safe Sport:
Those individuals who are sanctioned for any reason, inclusive of Safe Sport can be found at: https://www.usaweightlifting.org/sanctioned-members.
Revision and Review of these Policies & Responsibilities
USA Weightlifting, with advice from outside counsel and the USA Weightlifting Independent Ethics & Judicial Committees, will review these policies in June of each calendar year.
Age Requirements for Athlete Requirements & Background Responsibilities
USA Weightlifting views that requirements are assigned to role not by age, therefore you are required to submit to these requirements regardless of age, unless otherwise stated below.
USA Weightlifting Compliance Checks
USA Weightlifting will check weekly for compliance and will email issues for each individual to that person’s registered email address. Where the issue affects a certification, the member will be considered a “In Progress” (Provisional) member until such time as the requirement is satisfied.
Requirement before Athlete Interaction
An individual, covered by the below requirements, must complete their background check prior to the commencement of a new role or competition for all applicable individuals. A supplemental, partial, background check will be conducted in off-years through our background check provider, NCSI.
Additional responsibilities specific to USA Weightlifting Members:
One on One Interactions
- Coaches and any adult member of USA Weightlifting are also required to not be alone with a minor in a private setting or in a place that is inappropriate to the professional coaching relationship. It is not considered a private setting if another adult is present and a meaningful opportunity for interruption is present.
- Any one on one meeting, for any reason (except mental health treatment, see below) between an adult and a minor athlete shall take place in an environment which is interruptible and observable by 3rd parties. If this takes place in area with windows with blinds, those blinds must remain open for the entire duration of the meeting and any doors and exits must remain opened and unlocked and accessible to the minor.
- Meetings with mental health professionals in USA Weightlifting national activities are covered by the USA Weightlifting SMS Athlete Safety Policy. For those occurring at a local sanctioned level, provided that (1) the door remains unlocked; (2) another adult is present at the facility; (3) the other adult is advised that a closed-door meeting is occurring; and (4) written legal guardian consent is obtained in advance by the mental health care professional and/or health care provider, with a copy provided to our organization
- Meetings with healthcare professionals must have at least one other individual present for all procedures and treatments, for athletes of all ages unless for adult athletes only written consent for a private treatment is given. In the case of minor athletes, the treatment may never be given without a further adult present, preferably an individual with the same or superior certification to the provider.
- Adults are prohibited from interacting one-on-one with unrelated minor athletes in settings outside of Weightlifting activities that are not observable and interruptible (including, but not limited to, one’s home and individual transportation), unless parent/legal guardian consent is provided for each out-of-Weightlifting activity contact. Nonetheless, such arrangements are strongly discouraged.
- Adults who are not also a legal guardian or parent, shall not ride in a vehicle alone with an unrelated minor athlete, absent emergency conditions, and must have at least two minor athletes with them or another adult at all times.
- It is strongly recommended that an adult leading transportation to or from Weightlifting activity for minors to do so with at least one other adult present.
- Where they are the parent or legal guardian of a minor athlete they drop or pick up their minor athlete first/last as applicable.
- An adult USA Weightlifting member may not share overnight accommodation with an athlete of another gender, unless such athletes are a married couple, or with any minor that is not the adult’s immediate family.
- Meetings shall be conducted consistent with the organization’s policy for one-on-one interactions (i.e., any such meeting shall be observable and interruptible).
Social Media & Electronic Communication
- Communications between minor athletes and any adult (including but not exclusive to adult athletes, coaches, technical officials or otherwise) must be professional and related to the sport of Weightlifting only. In the case of a minor, parent/guardians must give permission for electronic communication to take place. Such permission may be revoked at any time, and must be given in advance of any communication with the athlete.
- In the event a minor athlete texts an adult member of USA Weightlifting, the reply must include a 3rd party and a copy of the communication must be made available on request to the parent or legal guardian of the individual.
- Absent emergency circumstances, any adult who communicates with a minor athlete must include another adult or, preferably, the legal guardian or parent of the athlete.
- Minor athletes may like or friend the official page of a USA Weightlifting club or similar.
Locker Rooms, Changing Areas, Weigh In Rooms, Saunas, Lavatories, Athlete Rest Area or similar, in any USA Weightlifting sanctioned area (including clubs)
- Use of any type of recording device in these areas is strictly prohibited, including voice recording, still photography and video cameras within the aforementioned spaces – except for when an individual is taking said photography while the space is empty (save for the photographer) for the purposes of facilities documentation.
- Under no circumstances shall an unrelated adult a facility under USA Weightlifting’s jurisdiction intentionally expose his or her breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals to a minor athlete.
- If a shared facility is used, then USA Weightlifting members are still required to adhere to these rules, regardless of the actions of others.
- Except for athletes on the same team, at no time are unrelated Applicable Adults permitted to be alone with a minor athlete in a locker room or changing area when at a facility under our partial or full jurisdiction, except under emergency circumstances.
- If our organization is using a facility that only has a single locker room or changing area, we will designate separate times for use by Applicable Adults, if any.
- Our organization regularly and randomly monitors the use of locker rooms and changing areas at facilities under our jurisdiction to ensure compliance with these policies.
Massage or Rubdown/Athletic Training Modality
- In the case of USA Weightlifting organized activities, the USA Weightlifting SMS (Sports Medicine) Policy prevails, where that policy is stricter.
- In the case of activity including those organized by USA Weightlifting clubs or at USA Weightlifting locally sanctioned activities:
- Any massage or rubdown/athlete training modality at a facility, training or competition venue must take place in an open and interruptible location. Any massage of any athlete (adult or minor) must be done with at least one other adult present, preferable a medical professional with a similar or superior certification to the practitioner. Under no circumstances may such a procedure occur with any athlete of adult athlete alone without prior written consent, and under no circumstances may such a procedure occur with a minor athlete alone at any time.
- Written consent by a parent or legal guardian shall be provided before providing each massage or rubdown/athletic training modality on a minor athlete. Parents or Legal Guardians must be permitted to observe.
- Physical contact between any adult and any athlete, including but not exclusive to adult athletes, must be with the consent of the athlete (and the parent/guardian in the case of a minor), and must be appropriate to the position of the adult. The athlete (and/or parent and/or guardian) may withdraw permission at any time. At no time is touching of any genital area or the buttocks acceptable.
- Physical contact between any athlete (adult or minor) must be with a second adult present where a legitimate opportunity for interruption exists.
- Physical contact with the intent to teach, coach or demonstrate sport skill, or to lessen injury is acceptable. Infrequent, non-intentional physical contact that may occur out of an error of judgement on the part of an athlete, coach or any adult is not an issue.
- Parents who are concerned about the level of physical contact between their minor and any adult must immediately consult USA Weightlifting or the US Center for SafeSport.
Other – Video, Photography, Weigh In and Sauna Use
- Video and Photography may only be taken if generally accepted standards of decency are observed and if it is in the best sporting interests of the athlete, and with the consent of the athlete (or parent/guardian in the case of a minor). The athlete (or parent/guardian in the case of a minor) may revoke their permission at any time, including after public posting of any photo or video. For any video or photography to take place at least one more adult must be present.
- Athletes aged 17 and Under inclusive, must weigh in using a singlet in any USA Weightlifting competition. Athletes aged 18 and over have the option to weigh in using a singlet if they elect to do so.
- The use of saunas, sauna suits, or other weight cut inducements is prohibited for athletes aged 17 and under in USA Weightlifting competition.
Athletes – National Team Selection
- Athletes selected to be a part of an international squad at all levels excluding Masters, regardless of if they will lift in the competition or not are required to submit themselves to:
- A USA Weightlifting Background Check. Such a background check will be funded by USA Weightlifting where the event is also 100% funded by USA Weightlifting, for non-funded events the Athlete will be responsible for the cost of the background screening.
- A current US Center for SafeSport education training relevant to the age of the athlete.
- See USA Weightlifting Path to the Podium Selection system, or relevant documentation for USOC governed events for more details.
- Coaches are required to complete US Center for SafeSport core training once followed by annual refresher training AND submit to a USA Weightlifting background check at their own expense to take any of the following actions:
- Accompany an international team in any capacity.
- Register for a USA Weightlifting-hosted event.
- Hold a National, International or Senior International coach certification.
- Be the President or affiliated coach of a USA Weightlifting club.
- Be listed on the USA Weightlifting Coaching Directory.
- Coaches must additionally adhere to the following rules:
- Coaches are also prohibited from being alone with a minor in a private setting or in a place that is inappropriate to the professional coaching relationship. It is not considered a private setting if another adult is present and a meaningful opportunity for interruption is present.
- A coach may not share overnight accommodation with an athlete of another gender or with any minor athlete that is not the coach’s immediate family.
Technical Officials are required to complete US Center for SafeSport training core training once followed by annual refresher training AND submit to a USA Weightlifting background check at their own expense to take any of the following actions:
- Accompany an international team in any capacity.
- Maintain certification as a National or International Technical Official.
- Engage in a Weigh in, within any USA Weightlifting sanctioned event (Including WSO events)
Club Presidents, WSO Board Members, Club Administrators, Club Coaches, Staff, Board of Directors and any Elected Volunteer.
- Maintain membership in USA Weightlifting.
- Adhere to the USA Weightlifting Sports Medicine Society Athlete Safety Policy (see SMS Policy)
- Keep credentials up to date with USA Weightlifting
Any Adult accompanying a National Team
Any adult accompanying a National Team, whether or not a member of USA Weightlifting (for example, a parent) must submit to US Center for SafeSport training core training once followed by annual refresher training and must submit to a USA Weightlifting background check at their own expense.
10/1/2018 – Clarification of the requirement for WSO Officials to be SafeSport Trained™ and Background Checked in order to conduct a Weigh In at a local event.
03/22/2019 – Added requirement for Adults with Regular Contact with Minor Athletes, Added locker room policy, added wording to All Member requirements.
4/25/2019 – Added changes to the SafeSport Training for Coaches, Technical Officials, Club Presidents, WSO Board Members, Club Administrators, Club Coaches, Staff, Board of Directors and any Elected Volunteer and Sports Medicine Personnel. Added requirements in the Locker Room Policy. Added Meeting Requirements under the Travel Regulations. Updated language in the Massage or Rubdown/Athletic Training Modality policy.