BRITISH COLUMBIA’S VANCOUVER (AP) — The investigation into the allegations of misconduct made by former women’s coaches Bob Birarda and Hubert Busby Jr. found the Vancouver Whitecaps’ response to be “appropriate” and “serious.”
While the club did act “expeditiously” in hiring an experienced workplace investigator, there were problems with the investigation itself, according to a report prepared for Major League Soccer by attorneys Janice Rubin and Melody Jahanzadeh of Rubin Thomlinson LLP.
In November, MLS retained the firm to investigate the Whitecaps’ handling of sexual misconduct allegations against Birarda (2008) and Busby (2011).
According to the findings, the probes were “shallow and lacking in depth.” It also concludes that the investigator was “overly generous” to Birarda and Busby, despite the evidence of their misconduct toward players, leading the investigator to some questionable conclusions.
A separate review published in July found that Canada Soccer “mishandled” sexual harassment allegations made against Birarda in 2008 while he was coaching the Canadian women’s under-20 team.
Birarda pled guilty in February to three counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation for sexual touching for crimes committed between 1988 and 2008. The second part of his sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 2.
Busby was the head coach of the Whitecaps women’s team in 2011 when he was accused of pressuring a former player for sex. This claim has not been put to the test in a formal legal proceeding.
Busby has refuted the claims made against him.
Both coaches resigned after the allegations surfaced.
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