Wife of gymnastics coach on trial for sexual assault suspended from coaching

The wife of a former national gymnastics coach undergoing trial for sexual assault has been suspended by Gymnastics Canada.

Gymnastics Canada investigating ethics and code of conduct complaints against Elizabeth Brubaker

Former gymnastics coach Dave Brubaker, right, leaves a Sarnia, Ont., court with his lawyer in December, where is on trial for sexual assault. Brubaker's wife, Elizabeth, has been suspended from coaching by Gymnastics Canada. (Geoff Robins/Canadian Press)

The wife of a former national gymnastics coach undergoing trial for sexual assault has been suspended by Gymnastics Canada. 

The suspension of Elizabeth Brubaker, a coach at the Bluewater Gymnastics Club in Sarnia, Ont., comes less than a month before her husband, Dave Brubaker, will learn his fate in a Sarnia court. Dave Brubaker is a former Olympic women's gymnastics coach who has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation. Elizabeth Brubaker is facing no criminal charges.

A judge is expected to hand down a verdict on the charges facing Dave Brubaker on Feb. 13.

In a statement Monday afternoon, Gymnastics Canada said it suspended Elizabeth Brubaker after receiving "a number of written formal complaints… that outlined alleged violations of Gymnastics Canada's ethics and code of conduct policies over an extended period of time a number of years ago."

Gymnastics Ontario wouldn't elaborate on the nature of the complaints but said the provisional suspension "is in keeping with Gymnastics Canada's complaint management protocol." An investigation into the complaints is expected to take up to a month to complete.

"In the meantime, Gymnastics Canada and Gymnastics Ontario will work closely with the Bluewater Club to ensure that the competition and training needs of all athletes in the Club remain well served," the Gymnastics Canada statement said.

Elizabeth Brubaker has also been provisionally suspended by Gymnastics Ontario and the Bluewater Gymnastics Club.

Coached at Rio Olympics

The complainant in the case against Dave Brubaker testified in court in December that Brubaker touched her inappropriately during sports massages, starting when she was 12 years old. Brubaker denies the charges, but admitted that he would kiss the complainant on the lips to say hello and goodbye.

The charges relate to alleged incidents between 2000 and 2007. The complainant is now in her 30s.

Brubaker was Canada's head gymnastics coach at the 2016 Rio Olympics and was the women's national team director at the last year's world championships in Montreal, where Halifax native Ellie Black captured the women's all-around silver medal.

Dave Brubaker has been placed on administrative leave by Gymnastics Ontario.


Devin Heroux

CBC reporter

Devin Heroux reports for CBC News and Sports. He is now based in Toronto, after working first for the CBC in Calgary and Saskatoon.