The manager of Red Deer’s curling centre is calling for the World Curling Tour (WCT) to implement a code of conduct after a team was kicked out of the Red Deer Curling Classic for unsportsmanlike behavior.
Red Deer made national and international news Monday after Jamie Koe’s team, which included former Olympian Ryan Fry, Chris Schille and DJ Kidby, were ejected from the $35,000 World Curling Tour competition on Saturday.
“The World Curling Tour needs to develop a code of conduct for the players that give it the means to suspend or fine players,” said Manager Wade Thurber.
He said other professional sports federations have codes of conduct in place that punish bad behaviour, which is ‘rare’ in curling, he said.
“It also gives us as the event organizers the ability to write up a report, send it into the WCT and hope that something happens,” he said. “Or maybe, we report a situation and if there is enough reports on the same curler then, eventually, the tour has to do something.”
After drinking in the bar area Saturday, Koe sat out while the three other curlers played in an afternoon game that resulted in their disqualification, Thurber said. Fry, who won Olympic gold with skip Brad Jacobs at the 2014 Sochi Games, broke three brooms, the team was drunk on the ice and swearing and a wall was damaged in the locker room.
On Tuesday, the World Curling Tour said it plans to review its policy after the incident.
Thurber said he is waiting to see what happens next. The minimum he is hoping for is a code of conduct for World Curling Tour curlers.
“It is unacceptable to break brooms and damage and disrespect curling facilities,” he said. “Curling is a good sport. It’s a very social sport and you can play it all your life. It’s a fun game.”
He added, “It’d be nice to know that we have something in place knowing that there is backing for these events. That it’s more than just saying, ‘No, you can’t come play here again.’”
On Saturday, the team members left the curling centre without issue and forfeited Sunday’s game. They also issued statements Monday apologizing for their actions. Thurber said the team members called to apologize and showed regret.
On Twitter, Fry said he was sorry to those affected by his actions.
“I never meant to offend anyone but that’s the result of a poor decision – I have to live with the consequences and will be taking every step needed to guarantee this never happens again,” he said on the social media platform.
Koe said in a statement that Saturday’s incident was a lapse in judgment.
“We contributed to (an) unpleasant experience for others,” he said. “Although I removed myself from the last game before it started, the actions from the team led to our disqualification. We were disrespectful and the committee was right to disqualify us from further play, which we did not argue.”
Fry, who normally plays with Jacobs, E.J. Harnden and Ryan Harnden, offered to pay for any damages, Thurber said.
Red Deer Curling Classic Results:
On the men’s side, Kody Hartung’s team from Saskatoon beat out last year’s champion Team Bottcher, 7-6, taking home the $35,000 purse.
On the women’s side, Robyn Silvernagle’s team from North Battleford, Sask. is $35,000 richer after winning the Red Deer Curling Classic. They beat China’s Jie Mei, 8-5.
–With files from the Canadian Press