UPDATE: Investigation into former staff member at North Dakota Elite Cheer
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - USA Cheer has confirmed an investigation is underway into a former coach at a Fargo cheer gym. Valley News Live received a Whistleblower tip suggesting an investigation into two male cheer coaches at North Dakota Elite.
No charges have been filed. However, USA Cheer Executive Director Lauri Harris released a statement, through a spokesperson, confirming some form of investigation. The statement reads:
“The safety of the entire cheer community is our absolute priority. We are aware of an ongoing investigation, and while we can’t comment on a third-party’s investigation, our publicly-available database of individuals ineligible for membership is available here, and includes the names of individuals ruled ineligible by virtue of an investigation by USA Cheer, affiliated organizations and/or law enforcement.”
The database does not appear to list any staff members in North Dakota or Minnesota. Fargo Police have confirmed they are not involved with the investigation.
The owner of North Dakota Elite did not respond to Valley News Live’s request for comment, but did send an email to families of their facility. Chelsea Hermanson wrote:
“An anonymous statement was sent to our governing body regarding accusations against one of our former coaches. Though as a program we are frustrated with continued conversation on this topic, we take athlete protection very seriously and as stated, the coach is no longer with North Dakota Elite.”
Hermanson added, “As a program we go through extensive training each season to comply with our governing body’s Safe Sport guidelines, and that includes extensive online and hands-on training and background checks, which give us the “green light” as coaches and a program.”
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