Sexual Misconduct Policy
Sexual misconduct encompasses a range of behavior used to obtain sexual gratification against another’s will or at the expense of another. Sexual misconduct includes sexual harassment, sexual assault and any conduct of a sexual nature without consent, or conduct which has the effect of threatening or intimidating the person against whom such conduct is directed. State laws vary on defining acts which constitute sexual misconduct.
Sexual misconduct involves touching and non-touching behavior that can cause physical, mental or emotional harm to an athlete or other sport participant. It also includes any act or conduct described as sexual abuse or misconduct under federal or state law (i.e. child sexual abuse). Generally, sexual misconduct can involve any of the following acts:
Examples of sexual misconduct prohibited under this policy include, without limitation:
1. Touching Offenses
- Intentional touching without consent whether directly or through clothing
- Forcing a victim to engage in touching another person in a sexual manner
- Exchange of reward in sport (i.e. team placement, scores, feedback) for sexual favors
- Sexual intercourse or conduct without consent
- Sexual relations or intimacies between persons in a position of trust, authority and/or evaluative and supervisory control over athletes or other sport participants
2. Non-touching offenses:
- A person in a position of trust, authority and/or evaluative and supervisory control over another discussing his/her sex life with a minor or subordinate
- A person in a position of trust, authority and/or evaluative and supervisory control over another asking a minor or subordinate about his/her sex life
- Requesting or sending a nude or partial-dress photo
- Exposing any participant to pornographic material likely to cause affront or alarm
- Sending sexually explicit or suggestive electronic or written messages or photos (i.e. “sexting”)
- Deliberately exposing a participant to sexual acts
- Exposing genitals under circumstances likely to cause affront or alarm
- Soliciting or requesting another person to engage in sexual conduct under circumstances in which he/she knows his/her requests or solicitation is likely to cause affront or alarm
- Sexually harassing behavior (as later defined in the harassment policy)
3. Child Sexual Abuse:
- Any sexual activity with a minor (anyone under eighteen (18) years of age). Minors cannot consent to sexual activity with an adult, and all sexual interaction between an adult and a minor is strictly prohibited. This includes sexual contact with a child that is accomplished by deception, manipulation, force or threat of force, regardless of the age of the participants, and all sexual interaction between an adult and child, regardless of whether there is deception or the child understands the sexual nature of the activity.
- Note concerning peer-to-peer child sexual abuse: Sexual contact between minors also can be abusive. Whether or not a sexual interaction between children constitutes child sexual abuse turns on the existence of an aggressor, the age difference between the children, and/or whether there is an imbalance of power and/or intellectual capabilities.
- Any act or conduct described as child sexual abuse under federal or state law.
Sexually abusive acts may include sexual penetration, sexual touching or non-contact sexual acts such as verbal acts, sexually suggestive electronic or written communication, exposure or voyeurism.
Romantic or sexual relationships:
Prohibited sexual misconduct also includes romantic or sexual relationships which began during the sport relationship, between athletes or other participants and those individuals that had direct supervisory or evaluative control, or were in a position of power or trust over the athlete or participant. Prohibition of romantic or sexual relationships does not include those relationships where it can be demonstrated that there is no imbalance of power. For example, this prohibition does not apply to a pre-existing relationship between two spouses or life partners.
Coaches or persons in a position of trust, authority and/or evaluative and supervisory control over athletes should avoid nudity in the presence of athletes whenever possible; however, nudity, but not lewd activity, as it exists in a changing facility or common shower facility is not sexual misconduct.
Upon proof of a violation of USA Cycling's policies regarding sexual misconduct, the offender will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, which may include suspension or expulsion from USA cycling and referral to law enforcement authorities.
This Article Published November 26, 2013 For more information contact: