Two more high-ranking U.S. Ski and Snowboard officials, including the federation's director, have departed in the wake of sexual assault and misconduct allegations leveled against longtime U.S. Snowboard head coach Peter Foley.
USSS director Jeremy Forster, who was Foley's boss, resigned from his position on Aug. 14, and freeskiing and snowboard head coach Mike Jankowski's position was eliminated on Aug. 15.
"With Jeremy Forster's resignation, we are restructuring the freeski and snowboard teams and Mike Jankowski's position was no longer needed," USSS said in a statement to ESPN.
Foley was fired in March. Five women have told ESPN they reported his behavior to the U.S. Center for SafeSport since allegations first surfaced against him in February. Foley has been temporarily suspended from all activities associated with any Olympic-sanctioned sport and continues to be under investigation by SafeSport. Through his lawyer, Foley has denied the allegations.
Former USSS board member Lisa Kosglow, who competed at the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics, also resigned her position in March after ESPN reported allegations of Kosglow and others interfering in SafeSport's investigation of Foley.
All four officials were associated with USSS for two or more decades. No misconduct allegations have been made against either Forster or Jankowski.
In its statement, USSS thanked Forster and Jankowski for their work and said that coaches, athletes and staff had been informed.
Jankowski, 47, spent 19 years coaching the U.S. snowboard and freeski teams, starting as a junior national snowboard coach. He oversaw the past five Olympic teams and coached multiple gold medalists, including Shaun White, Jamie Anderson, Alex Hall, Red Gerard, Maddie Bowman and Chloe Kim.
He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Forster, 50, had worked for USSS for nearly 30 years, and had been the director of the snowboard, freeski and freestyle teams since 2004.
"I'm grateful to the organization and its leadership for the support and opportunities as I depart from U.S. Ski & Snowboard," Forster said in a statement to ESPN. "Such an honor to work alongside the athletes, coaches and staff that are responsible for the success of these programs."
As director, Forster ran the program and oversaw coaches, including Foley. He has been described to ESPN by multiple sources as one of Foley's closest friends.
"He was Peter Foley's best friend," said a member of the 2022 Olympic team who spoke to ESPN on condition of anonymity. The athlete described how it was Forster who informed the team and support staff of the restrictions placed on Foley during the Beijing Games. Foley was not allowed to have one-on-one interaction with female athletes or go into the athlete village after the initial allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced.
"He started crying while telling everyone," the athlete told ESPN. "He said how bad he felt for Peter. He was literally crying."
In response, Forster said: "The Olympics are a high-pressure environment and the meeting was a challenging moment for many involved. We were processing what was taking place, while trying to best support the team to prepare for competition."
Forster declined to comment on the allegations against Foley.
Multiple USSS athletes have described to ESPN a culture of fear and retaliation for speaking out about sexual misconduct, financial decisions and coaching choices made within the federation. Many have spoken to ESPN anonymously for fear that they, and other athletes known to support them, would lose training and racing opportunities that would prevent them from making future World Cup and Olympic rosters.
Lindsey Nikola, who accused Foley in March of sexually assaulting her when she worked for USSS in 2008, sent ESPN a statement on behalf of herself and three of the other women who have made reports about USSS to SafeSport.
"In the months since we blew the whistle on Peter Foley's sexual misconduct, we have seen no signs of accountability from U.S. Ski and Snowboard, or any evidence that protections will be put in place to prevent this kind of situation from happening again," Nikola said. "While a shift in leadership is a promising opportunity to make these changes, the inaction to this point, and the lack of proactivity around issues of sexual misconduct is unacceptable.
"Right now, there are young women training as hard as they can to compete for U.S. Snowboarding. They and their families deserve to know that U.S. Ski and Snowboard is committed to protecting them from predators. On behalf of myself and other survivors, we want accountability for all involved."
USSS disagreed, telling ESPN in a statement that the organization had taken additional steps to ensure athlete safety, improve communication and enhance accountability under new leadership. "The safety and wellness of our athletes and staff is our top priority and we have zero tolerance for any behavior that undermines it."
ESPN's John Mastroberardino contributed to this report.