Former Bluewater Gymnastics director and wife drop appeals

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Gymnastics Canada says Dave Brubaker, former Canadian Olympic team gymnastics coach and former manager of Bluewater Gymnastics in Sarnia, and his wife, Elizabeth Brubaker, have withdrawn appeals of the 2021 decisions of a discipline panel.

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The panel decided that Dave Brubaker would be banned for life from any status with any Gymnastics Canada association and club, and that Elizabeth’s provisional suspension would be extended until January 18, 2024, pending completion of unspecified reinstatement.

Gymnastics Canada said Wednesday those decisions are now confirmed.

“We are relieved that this deal is now closed so that we can focus on what matters most, which is ensuring a healthy training and competition environment for all participants,” said the CEO. Ian Moss in a statement posted Wednesday on the organization’s website.

“We appreciate how challenging this experience has been for the brave athletes who have come forward and are committed to making the systemic improvements needed to ensure a positive and healthy culture,” he said.

An independent disciplinary panel found the duo breached Gymnastics Canada’s Code of Ethics and Conduct policies that were in effect between 1996 and 2017, “when the event occurred,” according to a previous statement from the organization.

Brubaker, former director of Gymnastics Canada’s national women’s artistic gymnastics team, was suspended Dec. 15, 2017 after being charged by Sarnia police with sexual assault and incitement to sexual touching.

He was acquitted of the charges about 14 months later when a Sarnia judge found the investigator was too close to the alleged victim – a former gymnast under Brubaker – to conduct an impartial investigation.

A Gymnastics Canada disciplinary investigation followed the acquittal based on written complaints about the two athlete coaches, the organization said.

Liz Brubaker’s suspension took effect on January 18, 2019.

At the time of the decision, Bluewater Gymnastics acknowledged Gymnastics Canada’s decision in a statement, but declined to comment further, noting that both Brubakers are “ancient» coaches with the club.

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