USA Cycling Background Check Policy

Updated 1/1/2020

Purpose:

USA Cycling is committed to the safety of all members. Providing a safe environment and protecting those engaged in cycling activities is of the utmost importance to USA Cycling. USA Cycling has therefore adopted this Background Check Policy.

Application

The following groups of individuals, 18 years of age and older, must have background checks completed prior to the commencement of the applicable role, issuance of a license and/or membership, training, event, or competition:

  • USA Cycling Staff*
  • USA Cycling Directors*
  • USA Cycling Volunteers* that USA Cycling formally authorizes, approves or appoints:
    • to serve in a position of authority over athletes, or
    • to have regular contact with athletes.
  • USA Cycling licensed Coaches
  • USA Cycling licensed Officials
  • USA Cycling-issued UCI Support Licensees including:
    • Managers
    • Sports Directors/Associate Sports Directors
    • Soigneurs/Trainers
    • Team Doctors and Paramedics
    • Coaches 
    • Any other UCI Support License holder a team authorizes, approves or appoints:
      • to serve in a position of authority over athletes, or
      • to have regular contact with athletes.
  • Collegiate Conference Directors*
  • Local Associations
    • Presidents
    • Any other individual the Local Association formally authorizes, approves or appoints:
      • to serve in a position of authority over athletes, or
      • to have regular contact with athletes.
  • Contractors USA Cycling formally authorizes, approves or appoints:
    • to serve in a position of authority over athletes, or
    • to have regular contact with athletes.
  • All athletes who are selected by USA Cycling to participate on national or international teams, or who are selected by USA Cycling to participate in any national or international event. For purposes of clarity, this does not include adult recreational participants.*
  • All athletes who are selected by USA Cycling to train at any Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, USOPC High Performance Training Center, or USA Cycling Training Site.*
  • Other individuals who have regular contact with athletes as determined by USA Cycling, in its discretion. 

*Paid for by USA Cycling.

Search Components

Background checks shall include the following searches on each individual:

1. Social Security Number validation;

2. Name and address history records;

3. Two independent Multi-Jurisdictional Criminal Database searches covering 50 states plus DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico;

4. Federal District Courts search for the district(s) where the individual currently lives or has lived during the past seven years, going back the length of time records are available and reportable based on the name and address the Individual provides and the developed address history records;

5. County Criminal Records for the county (or counties) where the individual currently lives or has lived during the past seven years, going back the length of time records are available and reportable for each county searched based on the name and address the Individual provides and the developed address history records;

6. Two Sex Offender Registry database searches of all available states, plus DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico;

7. Multiple National Watch Lists;

8. Comprehensive International Records search U.S. citizens who have lived outside of the United States for six consecutive months in any one country, during the past seven years;

All searches conducted above shall cover (a) the last 7 years of history, (b) the longest period available if information is not available for 7 years or (c) the longest period allowed by applicable law, if less than 7 years.

In addition to the searches described above, the following additional searches may be conducted, if required in USA Cycling’s discretion:

9. Motor vehicle records search in the state that the individual’s current driver’s license is issued, as provided by the individual. All such searches shall cover (a) the last 3 years of history, (b) the longest period available if information is not available for 3 years or (c) the longest period allowed by applicable law, if less than 3 years.

10. Commercial data provider to conduct an international criminal search. For international criminal searches, such searches shall cover (a) the last 7 years of history, (b) the longest period available if information is not available for 7 years or (c) the longest period allowed by applicable law, if less than 7 years

11. Education verification and final degree received (one time only, on initial screening if required for position).

12. Professional license/certification verification for certain medical roles.

Search Criteria

A reportable record or disclosure that contains a disposition or resolution of a criminal proceeding, other than an adjudication of not guilty, for any of the below criminal offenses will be flagged as a Red-Light, meaning it does not meet the initial screening criteria and the individual will be subject to the USA Cycling’s policies and procedures to determine eligibility:

1. Any felony (Defined as all crimes punishable by greater than one year in jail or prison, regardless of how characterized by jurisdiction. If range, alternate sentencing, or indeterminate sentencing with an outer range greater than one year);

Any misdemeanor involving:

2. All sexual crimes, criminal offenses of a sexual nature to include but not limited to; rape, child molestation, sexual battery, lewd conduct, possession and distribution of child pornography, possession and distribution of obscene material, prostitution, indecent exposure, public indecency, and any sex offender registrant;

3. Any drug related offenses;

4. Harm to a minor or vulnerable person, including, but not limited to, offenses such as child abandonment, child endangerment/neglect/abuse, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and DUI with a minor;

5. Violence against a person, force, or threat of force (including crimes involving a deadly weapon and domestic violence);

6. Stalking, harassment, blackmail, violation of a protection order, and/or threats;

7. Destruction of property, including arson, vandalism, and criminal mischief; and

8. Animal abuse, cruelty, or neglect;

9. Any lesser crime involving financial misappropriation including but not limited to, embezzlement, fraud, extortion, and theft within the past ten (10) years;

10. Any lesser crime of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in the past year or two (2) or more DUI's/DWI's in the past ten (10) years.

11. Any individual currently sanctioned by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

In limited instances, USA Cycling may require an individual be subject to a motor vehicle report check. Prior to any review of motor vehicle reports, USA Cycling will obtain the individual’s permission. Reportable convictions, registrations or pending dispositions or disclosures of convictions, registrations or pending dispositions for any of the following will prompt a determination that the individual “does not meet” the initial driving privilege search criteria as established by USA Cycling and a “Red-Light” will be issued. The individual will be subject to USA Cycling’s policies and procedures to determine eligibility:

1. License suspension or revocation even if subsequently reinstated

2. License has major variation in name or date of birth

3. License currently expired, suspended or revoked

4. No record found/ not a driver/ state ID only

5. License restricted to use to/ from work or school only

6. 4 or more (non-major) moving violations or at-fault accidents in the prior three years (if fault is not stated, consider a ticket for a moving violation that occurred the same date as the accident as an indicator of fault)

7. Major violations (regardless of when they occurred):

  • Vehicular homicide
  • Hit and run/ leaving the scene of an accident
  • Use of vehicle in a felony

8. Any 1 of the following violations within the past 10 years OR any combination of 2 or more violations (regardless of when they occurred):

  • DUI/ DWI or equivalent
  • Reckless driving
  • Refuse to reveal identity after accident
  • Open container (driver)
  • Refusal to submit to alcohol/ drug driving under the influence tests
  • Any drug/ alcohol related offenses
Full Disclosure & Ongoing Obligation

Once an individual has successfully met USA Cycling’s background check criteria, the individual will be considered in good standing until the expiration of their background check, as applicable; provided, however, if within that period USA Cycling becomes aware of any potential change in status (e.g., criminal activity) either through information received from the individual, the media, third parties or otherwise, USA Cycling shall have the right to conduct additional background checks at any time, and should the findings meet the criteria outlined above, USA Cycling shall have the right to immediately withdraw the individual's good standing status. The individual has an ongoing obligation, prior to the expiration of his or her background screen, to inform USA Cycling if there has been any change in his or her status (e.g., criminal activity).

Authorized Background Check Organization

The National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) shall be the only authorized provider that performs background checks for USA Cycling. NCSI is a full-service screening organization that works in accordance with the recommended guidelines established by the National Council on Youth Sports (NCYS) and is the provider recommended to all National Governing Bodies by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. NCSI operates as an independent company but is owned and governed in partnership with NCYS.

In addition to conducting the background check, NCSI is responsible for interpreting the search results, communicating with the applicant regarding the search results, and reporting to USA Cycling a determination based on the search results. NCSI is also responsible for complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and maintaining the confidentiality of information obtained in the background check process.

Background Check Findings & Notification

NCSI will issue results to the applicant and USA Cycling based on a “Red Light/Green Light” determination system. A “Green Light” or “Meets the Criteria” finding indicates an individual is suitable for participation in USA Cycling with regard to the background check. A “Red Light” finding means the individual “Does Not Meet the Criteria” and is potentially not suitable for participation in USA Cycling with regard to the background check. If NCSI has questions concerning a background check, the applicant will be contacted by NCSI and provided the opportunity to correct potential errors in the applicant’s record or provide additional information prior to issuing a “Red Light”. In such situations, USA Cycling may also be notified.

NCSI shall notify USA Cycling of “Green Light” and “Red Light” findings. Upon receiving notification of a “Red Light” finding, USA Cycling will deny or discontinue the identified person’s membership with USA Cycling. Any “Red Light” findings based on sexual misconduct or child abuse will be reported to the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

Appeal of Background Check Determination

1. Appeals Based on Accuracy of Background Check Results

Should an individual receive a “Red Light” finding based on records the individual believes are inaccurate, the individual may contest the content of a record directly with NCSI.

2. Appeals to USA Cycling Based on an Accurate Red Light Finding

Any individual who has been issued a “Red Light” may appeal the decision to the USA Cycling Background Check Review Panel (“Review Panel”) if his or her disqualifier falls under the following criteria:

Any misdemeanor involving:

  • Any drug related offenses;
  • Violence against a person, force, or threat of force (including crimes involving a deadly weapon and domestic violence);
  • Stalking, harassment, blackmail, violation of a protection order, and/or threats;
  • Destruction of property, including arson, vandalism, and criminal mischief; and
  • Animal abuse, cruelty, or neglect; 
  • Any crime involving financial misappropriation including but not limited to, embezzlement, fraud, extortion, and theft within the past ten (10) years;
  • Any lesser crime of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in the past year or two (2) or more DUI's/DWI's in the past ten (10) years.

3. No Appeal

Any individual who has been issued a “Red Light” shall have no right to an appeal if his or her disqualifier falls under the following criteria:

  • Any felony (Defined as all crimes punishable by greater than one year in jail or prison, regardless of how characterized by jurisdiction. If range, alternate sentencing, or indeterminate sentencing with an outer range greater than one year);
  • Any misdemeanor involving:
    • All sexual crimes, criminal offenses of a sexual nature to include but not limited to; rape, child molestation, sexual battery, lewd conduct, possession and distribution of child pornography, possession and distribution of obscene material, prostitution, indecent exposure, public indecency, and any sex offender registrant; *
    • Harm to a minor or vulnerable person, including, but not limited to, offenses such as child abandonment, child endangerment/neglect/abuse, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and DUI with a minor; *
  • Any individual currently sanctioned by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

*If the “Red Light” determination is based on sexual misconduct or child abuse, an appeal request may be available under the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s policies and procedures. The individual should contact the U.S. Center for SafeSport, to obtain information regarding any opportunity for and how to initiate an appeal.

Appeal Process

To initiate an appeal with USA Cycling, the individual must do all of the following:

1. Provide an email with the subject line “Background Check Appeal” to safesport@usacycling.org

2. Within that email, provide his or her full name, contact email, phone number and a brief description of the position sought.

3. Provide a reasonable description of the grounds for disqualification and any information that might be useful for the Review Panel to know, including references and the individual’s influence on cycling.

4. Pay a $50 fee.

Upon receiving such an appeal, USA Cycling’s CEO, or his or her designee, shall appoint a Review Panel. The Review Panel shall include three individuals, including at least one athlete representative. In making a final determination, the Review Panel will evaluate the circumstances surrounding the disqualifying matter, the dates in which the matter occurred and the overall impact of the matter on the relevant USA Cycling program, event or position sought. The Review Panel may take up to 14 business days to process the appeal once it is received. Notice will be provided to the individual with the Review Panel’s decision.

Should the Review Panel grant the appeal, the individual will be required to complete a new background check and submit a subsequent appeal (as applicable) upon expiration of original “Red Light” determination. If the individual disagrees with the finding of the Review Panel, he or she may appeal the decision by filing a demand for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) within 30 days of the Review Panel’s decision. A decision rendered by the AAA shall be final and binding on all parties.

In the event a similar appeal has already been conducted by another National Governing Body and that appeal resulted in disqualification of the individual, USA Cycling shall, to the extent it is able, uphold the same determination. 

Appeals not emailed within 7 days are barred. Individuals with a “Red Light” determination who do not appeal or do not prevail on appeal will be not be permitted to apply for any position listed in this Background Check Policy for a period of two (2) years.

Questions may be directed to safesport@usacycling.org. Only logistical questions and questions about the process will be answered. Questions concerning whether or not an appeal will be successful will not be answered until the Review Panel has made its decision. 

Secondary Review of USA Cycling Determinations by USOPC

USA Cycling is required to notify the USOPC of any decision reached by USA Cycling, which  has  the  effect  of  allowing  an  individual  covered  by USA Cycling’s Background Check Policy to reside, train or  compete  at  an  Olympic  Training  Center  or  participate in  an  Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American, Parapan American, Youth Olympic Games, or other international sporting  events  as designated by  the USOPC, if the individual’s background check screen was flagged for  any  disposition  or  resolution  of  a  criminal  proceeding,  other  than  an adjudication of not guilty for any of the below crimes:

Any felony involving:

1. Violence against a person within the previous ten (10) years;

2. Violent crimes involving weapons (including armed robbery and aggravated assault with a weapon) within the previous ten (10) years; and

3. Animal abuse, cruelty or neglect.

As well as any felony or misdemeanor involving:

4. All sexual crimes and criminal offenses of a sexual nature to include, but not limited to: rape, child molestation, sexual battery, lewd conduct, possession or distribution of child pornography, possession and distribution of obscene material, and any sex offender registrant (excluding prostitution, indecent exposure, and public indecency);

5. Drug offenses including: drug distribution, intent to distribute, manufacturing, trafficking, or sale within the previous 7 years (excluding crimes for drug use or possession); and

6. Harm to a minor or vulnerable person, including, but not limited to: offenses such as child abandonment, child endangerment/neglect/abuse, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, providing alcohol to a minor, and DUI with a minor.

For more details regarding the USOPC’s background check policy procedures, please visit here.

How to Self-Register
  • Individuals purchasing a license for the first time must create a user account on USA Cycling’s website before initiating a background check.
  • Individuals renewing their background check must sign in to their USA Cycling account before initiating a background check.
To Begin Your Background Check

1. Log into your USA Cycling account first, then click this link to sign into your legacy account.

2. Click on ‘Account’ on the black bar.

3. Scroll down and you will find a ‘Background Check’ toolbox below your personal information.

4. You will either see an expiration date (still valid) or a “Click Here” link that allows you to update your background check. Use this automatic link to renew or update your background check.

Once on the NCSI site, follow the instructions and provide payment. Most background checks are completed in 3-5 business days, however, it can take up to 10 business days before clearing when all information is correctly provided. Any incorrect/incomplete information will delay the determination time. If you have any questions or problems submitting your information please call (866) 833-7100 x109.

Recommendations for Local Associations

USA Cycling requires all Local Associations (LAs) to create or adopt a background check policy. LAs are encouraged to adapt and adopt the existing USA Cycling Background Check Policy; if drafting its own, USA Cycling highly recommends each LA confer with USA Cycling’s SafeSport Director. For convenience and consistency, USA Cycling has negotiated an arrangement with NCSI to provide the same background check program as USA Cycling. USA Cycling strongly encourages LA’s to take advantage of the NCSI program. LA’s may contact USA Cycling’s SafeSport Director for more information on how to do so.

Recommendations for Clubs

USA Cycling strongly recommends each Club, especially Clubs with a junior members, examine their Club’s needs for background checks and create or adopt a background check policy. Clubs are encouraged to adopt and adapt the existing USA Cycling Background Check Policy; if drafting its own, USA Cycling highly recommends each club confer with USA Cycling’s SafeSport Director. For convenience and consistency, USA Cycling has negotiated an arrangement with NCSI to provide the same background check program as USA Cycling. USA Cycling strongly encourages LA’s to take advantage of the NCSI program. LA’s may contact USA Cycling’s SafeSport Director for more information on how to do so.

USA Triathlon Members

If you completed a background check through NCSI for USA Triathlon you must tell NCSI to release the information using the following procedure:

  1. Click on this link to sign in to your legacy USA Cycling account.
  2. Click on ‘Account’ and you will find a ‘Background Check’ toolbox below your personal information.
  3. You will either see an expiration date (still valid) or a ‘Click Here’ link that takes you to the NCSI site.
  4. When asked “is this your first time using NCSI?”, click “no”.
  5. Identify yourself in one of two ways (last name, DOB and SSN or applicant ID and DOB).
  6. Sign off on the consent forms to allow NCSI to share your USA Triathlon screen with USA Cycling.
  7. Email USA Cycling at safesport@usacycling.org to confirm that the results have been released (NCSI does not notify USA Cycling automatically).