Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Double Olympic gold medal winner Steven Lopez plans to appeal against his permanent exclusion by USA Taekwondo (USAT), after a SafeSport investigation found him guilty of sexual misconduct involving a minor. Lopez’s sanction features on the USAT Suspension List, and a search on the SafeSport internet site reveals that the sanction was issued on 6 September.
“SafeSport’s issuance of a sanction is done without any hearing and without any review by a neutral fact-finder”, Lopez’s lawyer, Howard Jacobs, told USA Today. “We expect that when a neutral fact-finder hears the case for the first time, Steven Lopez will prevail, because the allegations are false”.
Steven and Jean Lopez, his older brother and coach, have been investigated under separate allegations of sexual misconduct by USAT and SafeSport. Jean Lopez was suspended in April, following a three year investigation, but is now listed as serving an ‘interim suspension pending further investigation’.