Team Selection and Protected Competitions

Team USA Athlete Ombuds

    Team USA Athletes may contact the Athlete Ombuds for confidential, independent advice regarding their selection and/or opportunity to participate in protected competition. The office’s role is to help athletes understand the rules and offer assistance in resolving concerns or disputes.

    In particular, the Athlete Ombuds can help assist you with questions involving:

    • Requirements in the drafting, approval or implementation of selection procedures (i.e., athlete involvement, conflicts of interest on the selection committees, application of objective or discretionary criteria, advance notice, amendments, etc.)
    • How to file a “right to compete” grievance with a National Governing Body or the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (i.e., under Section 9 of the USOPC bylaws)
    • How to file a demand for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association
    • Informal resolution
    • NGB hearings or AAA arbitrations
    • Legal representation and costs
    • Past AAA decisions and precedent

    To learn more about the "right to compete" grievance process, please visit our resolving conflicts and concerns page.

    Athletes can find the Section 9 and AAA Arbitration complaint forms here and past Section 9 AAA Arbitration decisions here.

    Informational Webpages



    Please note that advice from any member of the Office of the Athlete Ombuds, including but not limited to information provided on this website, does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The Athlete Ombuds will offer neutral, independent advice to any athlete, and athletes should always seek legal counsel if they want specific legal advice or individual representation. See our homepage for our full disclaimer.

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