An Independent Hearing Panel for Athletics Ontario has decided that Randy Brookes of The Gazelles, based in the Durham Region, is to receive a minimum two-year suspension, effective immediately, from participation in any role at any competition, practice, camp, event or activity that is organized, convened or sanctioned by Athletics Ontario or by a member of Athletics Ontario, including any affiliated club or association.
Athletics Ontario views ethical conduct and the prevention of harassment as crucial cornerstones in the fair administration of the sport of Athletics. Everyone participating in Athletics as either an athlete, coach, official, integrated support team member, administrator, volunteer or staff member is entitled to participate in an environment that is free of harassment and discrimination.
Our sport can eliminate misconduct when athletes, parents, volunteers, coaches and clubs across our province feel it is safe to report violations of ethical and conduct, without fear of reprisals for doing so. We encourage anyone in our sport who has a concern about safe Sport, to visit our webpage for more information (https://athleticsontario.ca/safe-sport/).
We encourage anyone who has been a victim of any form of harassment or misconduct while participating in athletics to reach out to us.
“Creating a safe and enjoyable environment for our members and others to participate in is a necessary and key objective of Athletics Ontario, and we thank and applaud all athletes and other members who come forward to raise concerns or complaints regarding conduct in our sport. We know it can be a difficult step to take but it is so crucial in aiding our ability to protect our athletes and other members,” said Dean Hustwick, Athletics Ontario President and Chair.
Below is a summary of the Hearing Panel’s decisions and sanctions, followed by a very brief outline of the entire timeline of these specific cases… To view the Hearing Panel’s full report, please follow this link: AO Panel Report Suspension of Randy Brookes
Decisions and Sanctions
The panel concludes that for a time period of no less than two (2) years beginning immediately, Randy Brookes shall be banned from participation in any role at any competition, practice, camp, event or activity that is organized, convened or sanctioned by Athletics Ontario, or by a member of Athletics Ontario (including any affiliated club or association) and will have his Athletics Ontario membership suspended.
He is also instructed to cease any further actions of retaliation against the Complainant which would violate the Harassment Policy.
At the conclusion of the two-year suspension period, his coaching membership may be reinstated if he has not violated the terms of the above sanction and contingent upon compliance to the following requirements. He must:
- Complete the Respect Group’s Respect in Sport for Activity Leader’s course and provide proof of completion to Athletics Ontario
- Complete or renew the NCCP’s Make Ethical Decisions course and provide proof of completion to Athletics Ontario
- Be able to demonstrate an understanding of the wrongdoing and consequences of this misconduct, as well as a full understanding of the Athletics Ontario Code of Conduct and Harassment Policy (may be accomplished through a letter of contrition directed to the Athletics Ontario Chair and CEO)
- Be able to demonstrate a change in behaviour which complies with the Athletics Ontario Code of Conduct and Code of Conduct – Coaches, and which does not risk bringing disrepute or harm to himself, his athletes or Athletics Ontario (may be accomplished by a written document outlining the steps taken to rectify his behaviour and with character witness letters, to be vetted by Athletics Ontario)
The length of Mr. Brookes’ suspension may be extended in the event of any of the following circumstances:
- Should any reliable evidence arise of violations of the above terms, or
- Should the Male Respondent fail to complete any of the above listed requirements for membership reinstatement, or
- Should additional founded complaints be filed against the Male Respondent based on new or previous incidents.
Summary of Timeline
February 2, 2019, the Athletics Ontario Harassment Officer received a written complaint concerning harassment of an Athletics Ontario member
April 2, 2019, the Athletics Ontario Harassment Officer received a second written complaint concerning harassment of the same Athletics Ontario member
April 29, 2019, the Athletics Ontario Harassment Officer submitted preliminary reports from both complaints to the Athletics Ontario Chair of the Board
May 6, 2019, the Athletics Ontario Chair appointed an independent Investigator to fully investigate the complaints
July 12, 2019, the Athletics Ontario Chair appointed a new independent Investigator due to the withdrawal of the previous Investigator as a result of personal reasons
August 19, 2019, the independent Investigator submitted two separate reports for each complaint to the Athletics Ontario Chair, outlining the investigation findings
August 30, 2019, the Athletics Ontario Chair appointed a three-person Hearing Panel to review the complaints
September 5, 2019, the Athletics Ontario Chair excused one Hearing Panel member for a potential conflict of interest and appointed a replacement
September 25, 2019, an Oral Hearing took place in London, Ontario that involved participation by the Complainant and both Respondents
October 09, 2019, the independent Hearing Panel rendered its decision, which includes the two-year suspension of Randy Brookes as a member of Athletics Ontario and from all Athletics Ontario activities
Athletics Ontario has provided the Hearing Panel’s decision to the Athletics Ontario Board of Directors, it’s member clubs, and Athletics Canada, and has also posted it to the Athletics Ontario Safe Sport Webpage.
For all enquiries:
Chief Executive Officer, Athletics Ontario