Members of Canada’s artistic swimming team compete for the gold medal in the free routine event at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, Wednesday, July 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Moises Castillo

Members of Canada’s artistic swimming team compete for the gold medal in the free routine event at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, Wednesday, July 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Moises Castillo

Artistic swimmers file lawsuit against Canadian governing body for abuse allegations

MONTREAL — Five former elite artistic swimmers from Canada are suing the country’s governing body for the sport for failing to provide a safe environment for athletes.

Chloe Isaac, Gabrielle Boisvert, Erin Wilson, Sion Ormond and Gabriella Brisson allege Canada Artistic Swimming did not provide an environment “free of psychological abuse, neglect and harassment” during their time with the program from 2007 to 2020.

They also accuse current head coach Gabor Szauder and previous coaches of disrespectful or abusive behaviour.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Canada Artistic Swimming and Szauder did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit comes after Canada Artistic Swimming released results of an independent investigation in October into complaints about harassment and a culture of fear at the team’s training centre in Montreal.

While the investigation found no instances of physical abuse, sexual abuse or hazing, nearly half of the those interviewed said they’d witnessed or experienced psychological abuse by coaches, staff or other athletes.