U.S. Snowboard head coach Peter Foley suspended by SafeSport after sexual misconduct allegations

U.S. Snowboard head coach Peter Foley was temporarily suspended Friday by the U.S. Center for SafeSport pending a formal investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct made by several women this week.

Foley is prohibited from participating in any capacity at any event, activity or competition authorized or organized by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and U.S. Ski & Snowboard. It also prevents him from using facilities under their jurisdiction.

The suspension is a routine procedure taken by SafeSport, a watchdog organization authorized by Congress to police issues related to sexual abuse in U.S. amateur sports, after it receives allegations of sexual misconduct against a coach under its purview and is an opening step in its formal investigation process.

SafeSport also issued a "no contact directive" to Foley, which prevents him from approaching the women who filed claims against him. He may not communicate with them through email or text message, on social media or through a third party.

"U.S. Ski & Snowboard is aware of the temporary suspension imposed by the U.S. Center for SafeSport," U.S. Ski & Snowboard told ESPN in a statement on Friday. "As of February 21, 2022, Coach Foley has not traveled with the U.S. Snowboardcross team, and he will not have any further contact with the team pending SafeSport's investigation and final determination."

Initial allegations against Foley, 56, first surfaced publicly during the Beijing Olympics in February, when former snowboardcross athlete Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, a 2010 Olympian, wrote a series of Instagram posts accusing Foley of sexual misconduct and two male athletes of inappropriate behavior. U.S. Ski and Snowboard said at the time that it had opened an investigation into the allegations.

In the days following Chythlook-Sifsof's posts, Foley issued a statement denying any wrongdoing. "I was totally surprised by the allegations. I vehemently deny the allegations. I've been doing my best to concentrate on supporting the athletes at the Olympics."

Foley, the head coach of the U.S. Snowboard team since its inception in 1994, has led the national squad to seven Olympic games. His athletes, both male and female, have won a combined 35 Olympic medals.