Some election drama this week in the U.S. Olympian and Paralympian Association (USOPA): an ethics committee found Anne Warner Cribbs ineligible for a post and ordered a new election.
The USOPA is a high-profile alumni organization for Olympians and Paralympians. The group held elections this fall for its Executive Committee. But the elections themselves stirred up an investigation by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s Ethics Committee. The USOPA posts are important because the alumni organization holds two board seats on the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee board of directors.
The Ethics Committee ruled that Cribbs was ineligible for the post she’d been running for, based on her representation of herself as an Olympic gold medalist, according to The Orange County Register. Cribbs did compete in the heats of the 4×100 medley relay in 1960, and her Team USA teammates won gold in the final with a different breaststroker. But the IOC didn’t start giving out medals to prelims swimmers until 1992, so Cribbs did not win a gold medal.
The USOPC sent an email to USOPA members announcing that the Ethics Committee had called for a new election. Though that message didn’t name Cribbs, it did note that the Ethics Committee had “identified opportunities to improve the nominating process, which include conducting background checks on candidates.”