COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Ask any Olympian, and you'll likely get the same answer: training is life.
Such is the case for Keith Sanderson, who is currently the third-ranked Men's Rapid-Fire Pistol shooter in the world. At times, training consists of 12- to 15-hour days at the Olympic Training Center for Sanderson. And, it's exclusive: the OTC is one of two facilities in the nation that offers a shooting range that caters to his sport.
Which, is why today's turn of events hit Sanderson in a vulnerable spot: he was kicked off the OTC grounds Tuesday. His pistol and gear remain locked up, inaccessible.
"I was removed from the national team and I was stricken of the right to be on the Olympic Training Center," said Sanderson.
He claims it is in retaliation for being an outspoken critic of the USOC Board, and advocate for athletes. He is an elected member of the Athletes' Advisory Council, and sits on the Board of Directors for USA Shooting.
Less than two weeks ago, the AAC pressed for the resignation of then-USOC CEO Scott Blackmun and leadership, over failure to act during a string of sex abuse scandals.
Early Tuesday, USA Shooting emailed Sanderson a list of Code of Conduct Violations. But, the list is vague.
Jessica Delos Reyes, Associate Director of Media and Public Relations for USA Shooting, said Sanderson is charged with 32 violations.
"I can assure you that this is not retaliation. These were incidents that needed to be investigated," said Delos Reyes. "The safety of our athletes, our staff, is of paramount. We take these violations very seriously."
Sanderson has appealed the allegations.
According to Delos Reyes, the case will be heard by judicial committee, which is appointed by the Board of Directors. It is unknown when Sanderson's case will be adjudicated.