Three-time track cycling world champion and Olympic gold medallist Marty Nothstein has been accused of sexual misconduct and suspended without pay from his position as executive director of the Lehigh Valley velodrome in Pennsylvania. An investigation was opened 11 days after he announced his candidacy for US Congress as a Republican.
Nothstein won sprint gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and three world championship golds – two in 1994, in the sprint and the keirin, and another for the keirin in 1996.
After retiring from cycling in 2006, he competed in drag racing in the preposterously-named Top Alcohol Funny Car category. (This isn’t really relevant, but we felt we had to mention it.)
Nothstein has served as served as executive director of the Lehigh Valley velodrome for about a decade, but The Hill reports that he was placed on unpaid leave in February after board members learned of a sexual misconduct investigation that had been ongoing since the previous autumn.
The allegations relate to an unspecified incident in 2000 – the year he won Olympic gold. The US Center for SafeSport, an independent organisation that addresses reports of abuse linked to Team USA, is currently looking into the claim.
The investigation was launched 11 days after he launched his congressional campaign and Nothstein clearly feels that is no coincidence. He says the accusation is “100 per cent false”.
"An anonymous tipster planted a clearly false allegation in hopes of triggering an investigation. Tipsters then turned around and planted a story with the media that I was under investigation. These days, that’s all it takes to smear someone."
ThinkProgress reports that in May a former velodrome employee filed a lawsuit claiming he was fired after raising concerns about the “noxious work environment” created by Nothstein.
He alleges that Nothstein told him “you Trinidadians are lazy and con men,” and that to make Trinidadians good employees, “you have to beat it out of them.”
A campaign spokesman said the lawsuit was “without merit.”