This popped up on Social Media just a few minutes ago. Paragraphs were added for clarity - Ed
An Open Letter to all USA Judo Members & Affiliates,
Our top three athletes in the United States entered into an agreement with USA Judo after the 2012 Olympic Games in London. All three athletes up until this point have fulfilled all requirements of the contract and USA Judo has NOT. As of July, USA Judo is 4 and a half months BEHIND in athlete payments.
I feel that this is unacceptable. The athletes are supposedly receiving two months of back pay this week at some point. This will STILL leave them 2 and a half months behind. I do not believe this is fair for our athletes to be constantly on the lookout for a check in the mail everyday in order for them to pay their bills. The checks never come.
I have [been] dealing with this issue as far back as when Ronda Rousey and numerous other elite athletes were competing and NOTHING has changed. The only change that USA Judo made was two years prior to the 2012 Olympic Games and now post Olympics we are right back where we started.
Everyone wonders why Ronday Rousey “bad mouths” USA Judo. Not everything she says is completely true but SOME of it is. USA Judo also wonders why people do not want to donate money to their organization to help fund our athletes. Evidently our athletes do not come first. Over the years every time I call to have this situation rectified they give me one excuse after another. They “have to pay this and have to pay that” BEFORE our athletes.
I would like to present a possible solution. What if we took all the paid salaries at USA Judo and paid the athletes first. I would bet that it would not take 4 and a half months to come up with the missing salary dollars.
Another point I’d like to address is that we have a High Performance budget committee and not only one person knows where the money is being spent. Again, two years prior to the 2012 Olympic Games, everyone sat down and had a budget along with a two year plan and EVERYONE knew where all the money was being going and now in 2013 we are right back to where we started.
After the 2012 Olympic Games USA Judo, along with myself, set in motion a “Winning Program/Plan” but it is NOT being followed. To all USA Judo Members who are concerned and care about their athletes should START ASKING QUESTIONS.
I would also like to state that I have attempted numerous times to have this issue rectified though the proper channels and NOBODY has gotten back to me. I even took the time to discuss this issue, in person, at the USA Judo Grand Prix in Miami, FL along with two follow up phone calls on July 19, 2013. I firmly believe that the athletes should come FIRST. We had them put their lives and careers on hold for another four years. Help.
James Pedro, Sr.
Jimmy Pedro: son and student of James Pedro, competing in the Olympics
If you don't know who James Pedro Sr. is, here are a list of his students:
- Jimmy Pedro Four-Time Olympian
- Two-Time Olympic Bronze
- World champion
- Alex Ottiano Two-Time Olympian
- Four-Time World Team Member
- Four-Time US National Champion
- Rhonda Rousey 2004 Olympian
- 2004 Jr. World Champion
- 2006 Jr. World Champion
- Taraje Williams-Murray 2004 Olympian
- Currently Ranked #4 US athlete 60kg
- Rick Hawn 2004 Olympian
- Currently Ranked #2 US athlete 81kg
- Brandon Greczkowski 2000 Olympian
- Cliff Sunada 1996 Olympian
- Orlando Fuentes 1996 Olympian
- Todd Brehe Three-Time World team member
- Five-Time National Champion
- Rhadi Ferguson 2004 Olympian
Ed note: This article was updated at 12:03 CST 22 July to distinguish between James Pedro Sr. and his son, Jimmy Pedro