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Boxing Canada High Performance Director Daniel Trepanier resigns after open letter from athletes

After an open letter from some of Canada’s top boxing athletes, coaches, and officials, Daniel Trepanier is no longer with Boxing Canada.

Boxing Canada president Ryan Savage released a statement earlier today confirming the immediate resignation of Trepanier who was the target of a May 4  open letter supported by 121 “Boxing Canada athletes, coaches, officials and PSO’s (Provincial Sport Organizations) past and present from 2008 – 2022.”

A Canadian Press article details some of former Olympian and world champion Mary Spencer’s accusations, accusing him of sabotaging her training for the 2012 Olympics in London, where she was considered a medal favourite.

The Boxing Canada statement reads:

Boxing Canada’s Board of Directors has accepted the resignation of Daniel Trepanier in his capacity as High Performance Director (HPD). His resignation is effective immediately.

As a result, Boxing Canada’ will be engaging Provincial Sports Organizations (PSOs) in the coming weeks to strike a search committee to guide the process to hire a new High-Performance Director.

Boxing Canada’s Board of Directors also held emergency meetings over the weekend to discuss how to further improve the transparency and governance of the organization. The Board has reiterated its commitment in regards to the:

  • High Performance Advisory Group (HPAG), which includes provincial and coach representatives from across Canada, to ensure transparency in high performance decisions, including team selection;
  • Reinvigoration of the Interprovincial / Territorial Committee (IPTC), to ensure proper communications and transparency between Boxing Canada and PSOs, and for PSOs to have a platform to discuss their concerns together;
  • mandatory Safe Sport training for all coaches and staff dealing with the High Performance Program; and
  • the separation of the High Performance Director role from coaching responsibilities and the creation of a National Panel of Experts to select the 2022-23 National Team

In addition, the Board of Directors has decided to expediate the work of the third-party expert that was engaged in March 2022 to conduct a culture review of the High Performance Program to ensure that athletes and coaches can excel in an optimal training environment. This work is currently underway and will be accelerated over the course the coming months in conjunction with the selection our new national team.

Boxing Canada has also been in touch and remains in close contact with the Own the Podium (OTP) program and Sport Canada in support of our ongoing reviews and processes which aligns with our commitment to being more proactive in our communications and working with athletes, coaches, and other stakeholders to ensure a safe, inclusive environment for all. This approach has guided Boxing Canada’s leadership in the global effort to advocate for widespread reforms at the International Boxing Federation (IBA) following accusations of widespread fixing in Olympic bouts and other IBA events. It is important to recall that the International Olympic Committee officially took over the boxing qualification and competition of the 2021 Tokyo Olympic boxing tournament after excluding the IBA. As such, Boxing Canada does not believe that the IBA has the credibility to lead an ethics review until it has resolved its own internal affairs and reinstated by the IOC.

The situation reveals the amount of turmoil the Canadian National Boxing program has been under since at least the Beijing Olympics of 2008.

Still, many questions remain, including: Can Boxing Canada can clean their own house with the 2024 Games in Paris fast approaching?

“I think so,” two-time Olympian and 11-time national boxing flyweight champion Mandy Bujold said to MMA Crossfire in response to the question: “This is only the first step, but it’s a step in the right direction. We are in a rebuilding phase with everything that happened over COVID-19 and lack of competition, so it’s a good time to rebuild the program to be stronger and produce the champions we know we can.”

Canada has not won a boxing medal since David Defiagbon took home a silver medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Female middleweight Tammara Thibeault fell one win short at the Tokyo 2020 games, losing to Nouchka Fontijn in the quarter-finals.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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