Former AthletesCAN President Dasha Peregoudova : Athlete abuse testimony needs to be turned into action

Team Canada arrives during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.

RICHMOND, B.C. – A national inquiry into safe sport is not necessarily the answer to helping Canadian athletes, according to a former member of the country’s taekwondo team and ombudsperson for Canada for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Dasha Peregoudova, former AthletesCAN President and the director of sanctions and outcomes for Abuse-Free Sport, said Saturday that Canada has gone through a national reckoning of abuse in sport, adding work now needs to be done with what the public has heard.

“I have not had, myself, those experiences those athletes had … I don’t want to trivialize that,” she said of Canadian athletes who have spoken out about abuse and misconduct.

“My reservation about a national inquiry is not that it’s not a good use of time or resources, I just have some sense that it would say what we already know which is that there are rampant safe sport issues in sport and that we need to do something about it.”

Her comments to The Canadian Press came after she, lawyer Amanda Fowler and former athletes Chris de Sousa Costa and Josh Vander Vies participated in a panel discussing governance in Canadian sports held by AthletesCAN.