Home » Boxing Australia head coach Jamie Pittman admits sexual misconduct

Boxing Australia head coach Jamie Pittman admits sexual misconduct

Boxing Australia’s head coach has admitted to “disgusting” sexual misconduct involving female fighters and has withdrawn from the Paris Olympics.

Jamie Pittman has apologised at the National Sports Tribunal, which has delivered damning findings about his behaviour.

Pittman, national coach since 2021, has withdrawn from the Olympics in Paris, and the tribunal has recommended a six-month suspension.

The tribunal found Pittman’s conduct was “variously described as ‘disgusting’, ‘shocking’, ‘inappropriate’, ‘gross’ and ‘offensive’.”

“[It] made those who witnessed it feel embarrassed and uncomfortable around Mr Pittman,” the tribunal said.

“Common to nine of the 11 instances of prohibited conduct are inappropriate comments or conduct involving the sexual objectivisation of women that is puerile, infantile and lacking in sensitivity or awareness.

“Especially by someone of Mr Pittman’s seniority and standing in the boxing community who should be leading by example.

“There is no place in modern society for such conduct, which also falls well short of the standards of behaviour expected of those involved with CombatAus.”

Pittman has also stood himself down from the Australian Olympic Committee’s Indigenous Advisory Committee “for the immediate future”.

He is also on Australian boxing’s selection panel, Boxing Australia’s coaching consultative committee, and the Indigenous advisory committee.

The tribunal found an alarming frequency of offences, between 16 July and 26 October last year.

“The prohibited conduct was not a one-off incident,” it said. “The conduct comprised 11 separate incidents across two separate team camps abroad and … is part of an overall pattern of behaviour.”

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One incident was described as “a sexually lewd act in the presence of a female athlete under Mr Pittman’s care”.

“Pittman does not contend, nor could he reasonably do so, that any part of his conduct comprised an honest and reasonable mistake,” the tribunal said.

“In actuality, Mr Pittman’s unacceptable and at times puerile behaviour achieves the opposite outcome where a number of athletes and other support staff were left feeling confused, bewildered and uncomfortable because of his behaviour.”

The tribunal listed several mitigating factors it considered before reaching its conclusion, including that: Pittman had previously had an “unblemished career” as an athlete and coach; he expressed genuine remorse for the “unease and embarrassment caused by his inadvertent and thoughtless conduct”; he was “willing to undertake any necessary courses or training to ensure such incidents do not recur”; and he had not contested breach.

The tribunal recommended a six-month ban backdated to November last year and written apologies to a team physiotherapist and at least two athletes.

Pittman must also complete a training course on anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, anti-bullying and anti-sexual misconduct within 60 days.