Code Of Ethics
The objective of the United States Judo Association is the advancement of the amateur athletic competition in the sport of Judo in the United States, in international competition, and in general, the advancement of recreation and physical fitness through the sport of Judo. The United States Judo Association grants the privilege of membership to individuals and organizations committed to that objective. The privilege of membership may, therefore, be withdrawn by the United States Judo Association whenever it determines the conduct of a member is inconsistent with the objective of the organization, or the best interest of the sport and those who participate in the sport.
In order to assist all members to better serve the interest of those who participate in Judo, the United States Judo Association has adopted the CODE OF ETHICS, which follows. This code is not intended to establish a set of rules that will, by inclusion or exclusion, prescribe the appropriate behavior for United States Judo Association members in every respect of their participation in the sport of Judo. Rather, the code offers principles to guide conduct and the judicious appraisal of conduct in situations that have ethical implications.
The code cannot enhance ethical conduct in the sport of Judo; that can only come from the personal commitment of the participants in Judo to behave ethically. This code is offered instead to guide and affirm the will of all the United States Judo Association members to safeguard the best interests of Judo by conducting themselves ethically at all times.
II. Elements of the Code
A. Participant Relationships
Members of the United States Judo Association are charged with the responsibility for contributing to an environment, which makes participation in Judo a positive and rewarding experience. In order to achieve that result, each member has a special obligation to make decisions based on the best interest of the athlete. It is inconsistent for any member to:
1. Fail to follow the safety guidelines established by the United States Judo Association, or otherwise knowingly subject a participant to unreasonable physical or emotional risk.
2. Engage in unsportsmanlike conduct including, in particular, attempting to injure, disable, or intentionally interfere with the preparation of a competitor.
3. Engage in conduct toward another participant in Judo, which is excessively or repeatedly abusive. The United States Judo Association recognizes that the process of training and motivating athletes will vary with each Coach and each Athlete, but it is nevertheless incumbent upon everyone involved in Judo to support the development and use of motivational and training methods, which avoid conduct which is, or is likely to be perceived as being, abusive.
4. Discriminate in the provision of resources or opportunities to any member or prospective member on the basis of race, sex, creed, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or mental or physical disability.
5. Attempt to intimidate, embarrass, or improperly influence any individual responsible for judging or administering a competition.
6. Engage in unethical or illegal business practices directed toward another member, including but not limited to, the dissemination of false or misleading information about a member, the misappropriation of valuable property such as mailing lists, the imposition of onerous non-competition provisions in employment agreements, the initiation by an instructor of direct solicitations encouraging athlete members to relocate from the club of the instructor’s most recent employer, or an attempt by a student to move from one club to another club without informing both head instructors of full details of the proposed move.
Any United States Judo Association activity or event should be open to any member properly qualified under the rules of that activity or event, and every member participating in a United States Judo Association activity or event has an obligation to participate to the best of his, or her, ability. It is inconsistent with this obligation for any member to:
1. Restrict the ability of a member to qualify for or participate in competition because of the member’s association with a particular organization or individual or because of that member’s race, sex, creed, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or mental or physical disability.
2. Participate as a Judge, Coach, Athlete or Administrator in any activity where that Judge, Coach or Athlete is inadequately prepared, unable to participate, or fails to participate to the best of his, or her, ability.
3. Engage in behavior, which is so disorderly or inappropriate enought to interfere with the orderly conduct of the activity or the participation of the other members in, or the enjoyment of the activity.
A member of the United States Judo Association has a duty of loyalty to the sport of Judo and the rules, which regulate and govern it. It is inconsistent with this obligation for any member to:
1. Knowingly misrepresent the policies or actions of the United States Judo Association or its authorized representatives.
2. Fail to resort in the first instance to the established procedures for challenging a competitive result, contesting a team selection decision, complaining about the conduct of another member, or attempting to reverse a policy adopted by the United States Judo Association.
3. Breach the duty to maintain appropriately established confidences of the United States Judo Association or its members.
Members of the United Sates Judo Association have a duty to communicate honestly and openly with the organization and its members. It is inconsistent with this obligation for any member to:
1. Misrepresent competitive achievements, professional qualifications, education, experience, eligibility, criminal record, or affiliations.
2. Withhold from athlete members information or resources likely to enhance the athlete member’s enjoyment of the sport, or reduce their risk of injury or illness.
3. Fail to consult with or fully inform the athlete or the athlete’s parents about opportunities made available to the athlete involving competitions, commercial activities, or recognition.
4. Misrepresent the nature or extent of injury in order to decline an invitation to participate in, or withdraw from, a competition assignment, training camp, or other similar activity.
5. Misrepresent the nature or extent of injury in order to participate in, or cause an athlete to participate in, a competition, training camp, or other similar activity when such participation is inconsistent with the appropriate medical response to the injury.
E. Alcohol or Drug Abuse
Members of the United States Judo Association must ensure that the sport is conducted in an environment free of drug or alcohol abuse. It is inconsistent with this obligation for any member to:
1. Use or provide to a third party any drug proscribed by applicable Federal, State, or Municipal law.
2. Assist or condone any competing athlete’s use of a drug banned by the International Olympic Committee, International Judo Federation, United States Olympic Committee, United States Judo, Inc., United States Judo Association, or National Collegiate Athletic Association, or, in case of athlete members, to use such drugs or refuse to submit to properly conducted drug tests administered by one of those organizations.
3. Provide alcohol to, or condone the use of alcohol by, minors, abuse alcohol in the presence of athlete members, or at United States Judo Association activities, or in the case of athlete members, consume alcoholic beverages while a minor.
F. Criminal Conduct
Members of the United States Judo Association are expected to comply with all applicable criminal codes. This obligation is violated by any member who has been convicted of, or has entered a plea of guilty or no contest to, a criminal charge or indictment involving sexual misconduct, child abuse, or conduct that is a violation of a law specifically designed to protect minors, and, depending on the nature of the crime, may be violated by any member who has been convicted of, or has entered a plea or guilty or no contest to, any felony charge or indictment involving conduct other than specifically described above.
G. Sexual Misconduct
Members of the United States Judo Association must protect the integrity of the sport and the interest of the athletes they serve by avoiding sexual relationships with athletes except where the capacity and quality of the athlete’s consent to enter that relationship is beyond question. It is inconsistent with this obligation for any member to:
1. Solicit or engage in sexual relations with any minor.
2. Engage in any behavior that utilizes the influence of a member’s position.
3. Engage in sexual harassment by making unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature where such conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
Members of the United Sates Judo Association should strive to increase their level of proficiency and skill. To fulfill this obligation, members should:
1. Participate in continuing education programs such as the clinics and seminars conducted by the United States Judo Association.
2. Remain current on safety, health, and training developments relevant to the sport of Judo, and seek the advice and council of colleagues and experts whenever such consultation is in the best interest of the athlete.
Members of the United States Judo Association are eligible for promotion upon technical skill, knowledge, participation and character requirements as set forth in the USJA promotion standards. Those evaluating a promotion candidate have an obligation to insure that all of the activity requirements are satisfied at a level consistent with the proposed rank and that the character requirement is satisfied at a level consistent with the age and maturity of the candidate and the proposed rank. It is inconsistent with this obligation for any member to:
1. Promote or recommend anyone for promotion without establishing for themselves that the person has satisfactorily fulfilled all the promotion requirements.
2. Make, or attempt to make, a promotion evaluation of promotion requirements in which they are not qualified to evaluate.
3. Knowingly accept false statements regarding the satisfaction of promotion requirements.
4. Fail to schedule regular promotion evaluations for eligible for promotion.
J. Conflict of Interest
Members of the United States Judo Association are responsible for avoiding both actual and perceived conflicts of interest in the conduct of business on behalf of the organization. It is inconsistent with this obligation for any member to:
1. Use, or to be perceived as using, United States Judo Association properties, services, opportunities, authority, or influence to gain private benefit.
2. Fail, as an employee, Director, Officer, or Committee Member of the United States Judo Association to complete an annual conflict of interest statement, or fail to complete that statement accurately.
3. Incur expenses in furtherance of the United States Judo Association business, which are unreasonable, unnecessary or unsubstantiated.
4. Participate in the deliberation or decision-making about any issue for which the member has a direct financial interest.
III. Enforcement of Code
Compliance with this code depends primarily upon understanding and voluntary compliance, secondly upon reinforcement by peers, and when necessary, upon enforcement through disciplinary action. Any individual who believes that a member of the United Stated Judo Association has failed to meet his, or her, obligation under this code is, under all but the most egregious circumstances, encouraged to first address that concern directly to that member. If that action does not result in satisfactory resolution, the individual may file a written complaint with the USJA National Headquarters. The written complaint will be handled directly by the Executive Director or his or her assigned representative and the initial contact with the complainant will be personal and direct according to the procedures outlined in the USJA Bylaws. At this time the ethics investigation process and procedures will be explained to the complainant and the case will be sent to the Chairman of the Standards and Ethics Committee. Subsequently, the Chairman will assign the complaint to an investigator. The ethics enforcement process will follow the procedures outlined in the bylaws of the USJA . When the investigation of the Ethics Committee concludes, the Committees recommendations are presented to the USJA Board of Directors. When the Board of Directors votes on a final disposition of the case, the complaint comes to a conclusion.
The entire USJA Bylaws document and The Ethics Complaint Procedure document is available by contacting the USJA National Headquarters.