Artistic Swimmer Sarah-Eve Pelletier to Head Canada’s Safe Sport Program

Photo Courtesy: Nicholas McMillan

Artistic Swimmer Sarah-Eve Pelletier to Head Canada’s Safe Sport Program

Retired artistic swimmer Sarah-Eve Pelletier was announced this week as the first head of Canada’s safe sport program.

Pelletier was announced Tuesday as the first Sports Integrity Commissioner by the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC). Pelletier will serve within “the central hub within Canada’s new safe sport program.” She will take the job in May 2022.

“I’m truly honoured to be taking on this role at such a pivotal time,” Pelletier said in a press release. “There is simply no place in sport for maltreatment of any kind. Through concerted efforts on all fronts, using a people-centered approach, we can make sport a safe and welcoming place for everyone involved.”

Pelletier was a national teamer for Canada in artistic swimming. She works as the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Director of Sport Business and Sustainability. She previously served as the COC’s Deputy General Counsel and Director of Business Affairs from 2015-20. She previously was the broadcasting media counsel for the International Olympic Committee, starting in 2010 after graduating from UCLA’s law school.

Pelletier’s office will operate independently, fielding complaints about violations within Canadian sports. It has the power to investigate and recommend sanctions through SDRCC. It operates under the Universal Code of Conduct to Address and Prevent Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS), which has been adopted by all federally funded sports organizations in Canada.

“Fifty of the federally-funded sport organizations have stated in writing their intention to join the new mechanism, which represents more than half of those funded by Sport Canada,” SDRCC CEO Marie-Claude Asselin said. “For these organizations, it sends a strong message to their athletes and other participants that they are committed to safe sport.”

“I want to congratulate Sarah-Eve Pelletier for her selection as Canada’s first Sport Integrity Commissioner,” said Canadian Minister of Sport Pascale St-Onge. “Athletes, coaches and sport organizations will greatly benefit from the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner. “This is a critical step in moving toward our common goal of achieving a Canadian sport system free of harassment, abuse, discrimination or maltreatment. We must build an approach that works for and with athletes. As Minister of Sport, it is my intention to make this independent mechanism mandatory for all federally-funded national sport organizations. On behalf of our government, thank you to the new Commissioner for contributing to our collective efforts.”