Report Reviewing Tim Hague’s Death Released Today; Athletic Commission Criticized

Today the long awaited report by accounting firm MNP was released reviewing the regulatory circumstances surrounding Tim Hague’s death.  Hague died following a boxing bout in Edmonton in June 2017.

The report’s mandate was not to allocate blame as the authors reminded readers with the following bold text “This review was not conducted to make any findings of fault, legal responsibility or conclusions of law“.  The purpose, instead was to make recommendations to better regulate combative sports in Edmonton.  Hague’s family has hired a lawyer who will undoubtedly explore where legal responsibility may lie.

Despite the soft mandate of the review MNP’s investigation made several troubling findings.  In short the report noted the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission ignored their policies when it came to issues such as licensing promoters, licensing fighters, and perhaps most concerning, when it came to handing out post fight medical suspensions for brain trauma.

The review noted the following shortcomings

  • it is possible for a contestant to receive a suspension that does not meet ECSC minimum suspension requirements per its Policies
  • The Chief Medical Officer, weigh-in physician and ringside physician are not provided with a fighter’s fight and medical suspension history when they review the results of medical tests submitted by the fighter and / or examine a fighter at the weigh-in or after a bout
  • The imposition (of the correct length of medical suspensions)  does not appear to be occurring following a bout
  • As with the promoter licencing process, it appears that the event permitting process was not as formal as set out in ECSC Policies
  • As with promoters noted above, the annual licensing and event permitting processes for contestants were not as formal as required by ECSC Policies
  • The report even noted that public records regulators rely on when licensing fighters did not reflect the extent of past brain trauma Hague sustained in a previous bout because of “the incomplete reporting of results to the official boxing and MMA websites by the ESCS“.

The review concludes that the Province of Alberta should consider overtaking the regulation of Combative Sports instead of having a municipal model.

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