The U.S. Center for SafeSport updated the SafeSport suspensions list, adding former U.S. show jumping chef d’equipe, Olympian and popular clinician George Morris to the suspension list on Aug. 5.
Morris, 81, is listed as permanently ineligible due to allegations of “sexual misconduct involving a minor,” and the ruling is subject to appeal. Morris’ suspension is listed on the SafeSport website and was added to U.S. Equestrian Federation suspension list later that evening.
“I am deeply troubled by the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s findings regarding unsubstantiated charges for events that allegedly occurred between 1968 and 1972,” Morris wrote in a statement. “I contest these findings wholeheartedly and am in the process of disputing them. I have devoted my life to equestrian sport and the development of future riders, coaches and Olympians. Any allegations that suggest I have acted in ways that are harmful to any individual, the broader equestrian community, and sport that I love dearly are false and hurtful.
“I share our community’s commitment to protecting the safety and wellbeing of all our athletes who need reliable guidance and encouragement at every level, of which I have provided for over 50 years,” he continued. “I will continue, as I always have, to proudly support equestrianism and its continued development around the world.”
Morris rode to Olympic team silver at the 1960 Olympic Games (Italy) before establishing a top training business out of his Hunterdon Inc. (New Jersey). He accepted the role of U.S. show jumping chef d’equipe in 2005, and during his tenure, the U.S. team won the 2005 Samsung Super League series, took team silver at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games (Germany) and team gold at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong. At the 2011 Pan American Games (Mexico), the U.S. team won team gold and individual gold and silver.
His last championship with the U.S. team was the 2012 London Olympic Games, and afterward he assumed the role for the Brazilian team for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. He then returned to a busy schedule of teaching clinics and coaching a few individual riders.