Lake Effect's Mitch Teich interviews U.S. Olympic Speedskater Nikki Meyer.
A second speedskater has come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct by four-time Olympic speedskater and former US Speedskating head Andy Gabel. Nikki Meyer, who was known as Nikki Ziegelmeyer during her skating career says she was fifteen years old in 1991 when Gabel forced her to have sex in a dorm room at the US Olympic Education Center in Marquette, Michigan.
Lake Effect's Mitch Teich on All Things Considered.
UPDATED, 7:15 pm: Andy Gabel responded to WUWM's story this evening by email:
"I want to emphasize, there was no incident of any abuse ever. I never forced myself on any individual and any allegations of that nature are absolutely false. Any relationship I had was consentual [sic]. Looking back on it now, I understand that my conduct nearly 20 years ago, and longer, was still inappropriate. I've apologized publically [sic] for that and I am sorry for crossing that line. I understand that inappropriateness more than ever now.
And so I resigned from the International Skating Union and US Speedskating because I care about the athletes and the sport that I have given so much of my life to and I did not want this type of story to have any adverse effects on the athletes, the organization, and the progress of the sport.
Nearly two decades ago, I made personal mistakes and looking back on it now, I wish that I would have been more mature and made better choices."
US Speedskating released a written statement this evening, as well:
"US Speedskating is aware of a second allegation brought by another athlete against a former board member. We have engaged the law firm of Sidley Austin LLP to thoroughly investigate the allegations of sexual misconduct brought forward by both athletes. US Speedskating will not tolerate abuse of any kind and we intend to investigate these claims, and any others that arise."
(An earlier version of this story and the current audio version includes an incorrect characterization of Gabel's statement. It initially and incorrectly read "Gabel admitted to the behavior." Mr. Gabel admitted to a "brief, inappropriate relationship" with a fellow teammate.)
U.S. Speedskating's turmoil continues as new developments hit late Tuesday. A group of short-track speedskaters and their supporters filed a Section 10 complaint with the U.S. Olympic Committee, asking it to put U.S. Speedskating on probation and increase USOC oversight. They say the governing body hasn’t addressed grievances they brought to light last August.
The fallout continues from speedskater Bridie Farrell accusations that she was sexually abused by a fellow skater fifteen years ago. On Lake Effect last week, Farrell came forward publicly for the first time with the story of her repeated abuse by fellow skater Andy Gabel, when she was 15 and he was 33. Gabel went on to medal in the Olympics, and later served as President of US Speedskating and on the board of the International Skating Union.
(An earlier version of this story and the current audio version includes an incorrect characterization of Gabel's statement. It initially and incorrectly read "Gabel's admission to sexual misconduct." Mr. Gabel admitted to a "brief, inappropriate relationship" with a fellow teammate.)
Former president of US Speedskating Andy Gabel’s admission of an "inappropriate relationship" with a fellow teammate more than a decade ago is just the latest chapter in a years-long saga of problems swirling around the sport in this country.
Lake Effect's Mitch Teich interviews U.S. Olympic Speedskater Bridie Farrell.
One year from today, speed-skating events are set to begin at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Bridie Farrell hopes to be there. Today, though, she’s in Milwaukee, training at the Pettit National Ice Center.