Ron Jacks was only added to Canada’s national team coaching staff for the 2017 World Championships after an appeal to an arbitrator, legal documents show.
Jacks was not originally named to Canada’s coaching staff. Believing the decision-making process to have been compromised by conflicts of interest, Jacks appealed the decision to the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC), where his appeal was heard by arbitrator David Bennett.
Jacks has specialized with open water swimmers, and he coached Richard Weinberger onto Canada’s World Championships team in the open water 10K this year. According to the appeal documents, Jacks says he told Swimming Canada he was interested in serving on the coaching staff, but that the two open water coaching positions weren’t named with the rest of the pool coaching staff at the conclusion of Canadian Trials on April 9.
Then on April 20, Swimming Canada informed Jacks that he would not be part of the coaching staff.
Jacks alleges that Swimming Canada’s High Performance Director John Atkinson made the coaching selection decisions together with Mark Perry, now Swimming Canada’s national Distance/Open Water coach, who was also selected as the open water head coach for the 2017 World Championships team.
Jacks claimed that Perry’s influence on Atkinson’s decision-making constituted a conflict of interest, and the arbiter agreed, considering the conflict “exceptional circumstances” and overturning the original nominations, naming Jacks to the team. The other open water coach set to be on the roster was Dominique Longtin.