Robert “Bob” McDonald, of Hailey, Idaho, was removed from the U.S. Center For SafeSport’s suspension list. He had been originally placed on the list on June 10 for “sexual conduct-involving minors.”
McDonald, who is a hunter/jumper trainer and the husband of Debbie McDonald, technical advisor for the U.S. dressage team, had originally been deemed permanently ineligible by both the U.S. Equestrian Federation and USA Hockey.
The Chronicle reached out to Bob, who did not return the call by press time.
In an emailed statement Bob said: “Last week I provided additional information to SafeSport in advance of my arbitration hearing that was scheduled to take place in October 2020. On Thursday, Aug. 20, I received an email statement announcing all sanctions had been lifted, my name had been removed and my case closed. The accusations are false. They have always been false and are now proven false. My family and I are relieved to have these accusations behind us. To all of you that emailed and spoke up on my behalf, I can not thank you enough.”
The U.S. Center for SafeSport does not comment on specific cases but issued the following statement.
“SafeSport’s mission is to make athlete well-being the centerpiece of sport culture. It fulfills its critical purpose through policies, resources and tools aimed at preventing abuse as well as those that allow the Center to hold individuals accountable. Every matter is unique which is why the Center is equipped with tools, policies and procedures to account for the many variables inherent in this important and highly sensitive work. One such tool allows SafeSport to return to a matter when and if additional information is made available, including the participation of key witnesses. Such a decision is not taken lightly and is only made in the interest of fulfilling the Center’s mission.”