Rugby Canada the latest national body to sign on to join Abuse-Free Sport

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TORONTO — Rugby Canada has joined other national sports organizations in signing an agreement to join Abuse-Free Sport, the federal government program to prevent and address maltreatment in sport.

Following a transition period to end no later than March 31, Rugby Canada national team players, coaches, contractors and volunteers, as well as the organization’s staff and board, will be subject to safe sport complaints with the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC).

During the transition period leading up to March 31, Rugby Canada policies and procedures will be updated to direct complainants to the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada.

Canada’s sport minister, Pascale St-Onge, has given national sport organizations a deadline of April to sign on with OSIC, or risk losing federal funding.

Athletes in numerous sports including gymnastics, bobsled and skeleton have been vocal about maltreatment in their sports, amid what St-Onge has called a “safe-sport crisis” in Canada.

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