Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Jan. 18, 2021 — The other shoe drops Down Under

Five weeks ago, we wrote this.

Late last week, one of the major figures in the alleged toxic culture within the Australia women’s field hockey team, high-performance director Toni Cumpston, resigned.

“This is not a decision I have made lightly,” Cumpston said in a prepared statement. “However, in a very short space of time it has become evident that I no longer have the support of the board of Hockey Australia to continue this work.”

Cumpston’s final day on the job is scheduled for April 15.

An investigation into Hockey Australia is continuing, with separate investigations of not only actions within the team, but into conflicts of interest that previous internal reviewers may have had with key figures within Hockey Australia.

The key part to this story is that the investigation is now going to have the full weight of the Australian national government behind it. Sport Integrity Australia, a body tasked with anti-doping, safe-sport, and anti-corruption issues, is going to take the lead. The SIA has set up a mechanism for collecting evidence from current and former players as well as Hockey Australia staff.

This is set to be the second major action that SIA has taken in its short history when it comes to investigating misconduct within a national team of Australia; last year, a similar mechanism was set up for Gymnastics Australia.

But taking on a prominent team like the Hockeyroos, one which had been pretty much invincible for a decade and a half?

This is different.

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