VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Major League Soccer has engaged Janice Rubin and Melody Jahanzadeh of Rubin Thomlinson LLP to conduct an independent review of the Vancouver Whitecaps’ handling of misconduct allegations brought by members of the organization’s women’s team against former coaches Bob Birarda and Hubert Busby.
“The investigation will consider the club’s internal processes and overall culture at the time of the allegations, including what steps it took in response to the allegations,” MLS said in a statement to the Associated PressThursday. “The review will also consider the club’s current policies and procedures and provide any recommendations on preventative measures to ensure that all players and staff within the Whitecaps organization work in a safe environment, free of all forms of harassment and fear of retaliation.”
Malloree Enoch from the United States detailed allegations of Busby’s inappropriate behavior in an interview with Guardian newspaper.
Enoch claimed that Busby had promised her he would sign her up as a player. He then made her stay in his hotel room on numerous trips, and finally tried to force her to have sex with him.
According to the news outlet, Enoch said she shared her concerns in 2011 with Dan Lenarduzzi, the team’s soccer development director, after signing in 2011, but nothing was immediately done.
Ciara McCormack, an ex-Whitecaps player, has detailed allegations of abuse from Birada in 2019. Others have also made similar accusations.
According to the news outlet, Birada was fired after an internal investigation in 2008.
According to the AP six counts of sexual exploitation are being brought against the former coach, as well two counts each of sexual assault and one count child luring. These charges span 20 years, from 1998 through 2008.