September 29, 2019 / 1:29 AM / 10 months ago

Bobsledder Kaillie Humphries receives release from Canada to join U.S.

FILE PHOTO: Bobsleigh - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Finals - Olympic Sliding Centre - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 21, 2018 - Kaillie Humphries of Canada reacts. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

(Reuters) - - Double Olympic gold medalist Kaillie Humphries has received release from Bobsleigh Canada, the governing body announced on Saturday, freeing her to compete for the United States.

Humphries, who last year filed a harassment complaint against Bobsleigh Canada and stepped away from competition, had most recently been denied release by a judge after filing a lawsuit.

But Bobsleigh Canada opted to let the 34-year-old Canadian slide to the U.S. side. Humphries needed the release by Monday in order to be eligible to compete for the United States this season.

“This was not an easy decision, nor was it one we took lightly,” Bobsleigh Canada said in a statement.

“Alongside our stakeholders, we carefully weighed all the relevant factors in this important and complex decision of releasing a medal-potential athlete to one of our top competitors,” the governing body said. “Ultimately, we firmly believe that supporting our current athletes and the positive culture they have developed as a team will foster the environment we need to successfully grow our sport and slide onto the international podium both now, and in the future.

“These athletes and coaches deserve the opportunity to focus on their pursuit of excellence.”

Humphries, who won gold medals at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics before picking up a bronze at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, recently married American Travis Armbruster.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los AngelesEditing by Leslie Adler

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