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Criminal Background Screening for Athlete Representatives - FAQ

  1. Why does USATF have a background screening program?

    Any individual who represents United States athletes who are members of USATF must be authorized by USATF to assist athletes in planning, arranging, and negotiating their competition programs. Per USATF Regulation 25-C, to become a USATF-authorized Athlete Representative, an individual must meet eligibility requirements.

    Furthermore, Regulation 25-F indicates that Athlete Representatives wishing to be authorized to represent United States athletes “shall be required to submit to and successfully complete USATF’s criminal background screening process annually.”

  2. Who must submit to a background screen and how often?

    Per USATF Regulation 25-F, Athlete Representatives wishing to be authorized to represent United States athletes, “shall be required to submit to and successfully complete USATF’s criminal background screening process annually.”

    The USATF screen provider conducts an annual review, but Athlete Representatives must renew their background screen online every two (2) years.

  3. When and how does the background screening process begin?

    Per USATF Regulation 25-K, the application review process begins “after an applicant submits a fully completed application.”

    After the Authorized Athlete Representative Application and Agreement has been processed, you will receive instructions regarding the self-registration process with NCSI, USATF’s partner in criminal background screening. These instructions include details about the process, as well as a unique number that is required to gain access. Remember, it is currently only necessary to complete this process is every two (2) years.

  4. What types of criminal offenses or registrations are being screened for?

    Convictions for, disclosures of convictions for, and pending dispositions for any of the following crimes, and disclosures for any listed sanctions will prompt a determination that an applicant does not meet the criminal background screening criteria and a red light determination will be issued:

    1. Any felony including an element of violence or of a sexual nature regardless of the amount of time since the offense, and any non-violent felony within the past five (5) years
      1. Defined on the basis of exposure for the offense for which the defendant was convicted, pled guilty or pled nolo contendere. If pled down, then the crime to which the defendant ultimately pled.
      2. Defined as all crimes punishable by greater than one year in jail or prison, regardless of how characterized by jurisdiction. If range, alternate sentencing, or indeterminate sentencing, outer range >one year.
    2. Any lesser crime involving force or threat of force against a person within the last ten (10) years.
    3. Any crime in which sexual relations is an element, including “victimless” crimes of a sexual nature (including but not limited to pornography, lewd conduct, and indecent exposure) within the last ten (10) years.
    4. Any lesser crime involving controlled substances (not paraphernalia or alcohol) within the last five (5) years.
    5. Any lesser crime involving cruelty to animals within the last ten (10) years.
    6. Any sex offender registrant.
    7. Any crime involving financial misappropriation including but not limited to embezzlement, fraud, extortion, and theft within the last ten (10) years.
    8. Any individual that is currently not in good standing (sanctioned) with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) or who has received a sanction by USADA within the last ten (10) years.
  5. What is the cost of the Screening?

    There is no additional cost to the applicant for the background screen. USATF uses part of the applicant’s membership dues to cover these costs.

  6. Who conducts the background screens?

    National Center for Safety Initiatives LLC (NCSI) provides a secure website for individuals to submit their background information for screening. NCSI’s system provides the highest level of security and was designed to ensure adherence with federal rules and regulations regarding background screening. In order to protect the confidentiality of sensitive information, the screening process must be completed online.

  7. What information is required for the background screening process?

    The screening will require the following information:

    • Social security number (required for verification purposes). Background screening will not be completed without this information (unless you are a non-US citizen/resident – see below).
    • Your legal first and last name
    • Date of birth
    • 7 year address history including city, state, zip, and county\Contact information
    • Gender
    • Active e-mail address
  8. Why do I have to provide my social security number during the application process?

    The social security number provides the necessary information (along with your name and date of birth) to produce the most thorough and accurate background screen. Screening based on name, date of birth, address history and social security number is standard throughout the industry.

  9. I am not a citizen (or resident) of the United States and I do not have a social security number. How do I complete the background check requirement?

    Non-US citizens/residents without social security numbers are required to complete a background screening and will be subject to an International Criminal Background screening. Upon entering NCSI’s online process, you will be asked if you have a valid SSN. A “no” response will trigger an International search process. International searches take considerably longer to process. If you have any questions, please contact NCSI at

  10. Why do I need an active e-mail address?

    An active e-mail address is required in order to complete your background screening. NCSI’s main form of communication with you is via phone and e-mail. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you provide an e-mail address and that you check it frequently following your initial application.

  11. I tried to complete my background screening with NCSI and their system “timed out.” What do I need to do?

    NCSI’s system is set to time out after 30 minutes without activity. Please have all information ready in advance to avoid a time out event. In the event of time out, information you entered is not stored or transmitted, so you will need to start the process over from the beginning. You will know the process is completed when you receive a confirmation page with your 16 digit applicant ID number.

  12. What if I previously had a background check performed through another organization or agency?

    You will still be required to have a background check performed through USATF’s Screening. USATF is unable to rely on information compiled by another organization or agency, as various organizations, businesses and agencies use different criteria and/or search protocol to determine eligibility for approving an individual’s background screen. USATF cannot make a decision based on those results.

  13. What happens if NCSI needs additional information from me?

    NCSI will send a notice to you via e-mail with the relevant instructions. This notice will come to you from in the days following your initial application. It is very important that you check your e-mail and respond promptly to this request, as your background screening will be on hold until you respond. Please add to your accepted email domain list to receive notifications from NCSI. Additionally, you will be able to see that additional information is needed by checking your status on NCSI's website.

    During the course of the background screening process, there may be times that NCSI will request identification verification in order to complete the review. Generally, this will occur if there is conflicting information relating to the name(s) and/or date of birth provided, compared with that sourced through the investigative process. If additional information is needed, you will be required to present a valid form of state issued identification, such as a driver's license or passport, in order to verify your information. NCSI respects your personal privacy and only requests information that is reasonable and related to the issue being verified.

  14. How do I check the status of my background screen online?

    You can check the status of your background screening by logging into At the time you first register you will receive an e-mail confirmation from NCSI with a unique 16 digit ID number. This ID number can be used when going to NCSI site to login to check your status. You are encouraged to check this site regularly to see your status, and also as a means of verifying the legitimacy of any e-mail request you may receive. NCSI does not provide verbal status of background screenings.

  15. What should I do if my screening returns incorrect or inaccurate criminal information?

    There will be times, particularly if you have a very common name, when a background screening will return information that doesn’t belong to you. When such information results in a "negative" initial screen, you will be advised of the negative information by NCSI and the following guidelines will apply to dispute the initial screen:

    • NCSI will notify you by mail/ e-mail of the finding and provide you the opportunity to dispute the negative information. This information will not be sent to USATF until you have had time to review it.
    • In order to maintain the confidentiality of your screen results do not contact anyone at USATF. You must work with NCSI to dispute information.
    • In order to research disputed information in a background screen, NCSI may need to contact and review information from various additional jurisdictions. Depending on the specific jurisdiction, this research could take up to 30 days.
  16. Can I request a copy of my criminal background check results?

    Yes. NCSI will provide a copy of your background check upon written request. Please send written request via e-mail to or via fax to 440-542-9833. Please provide your legal name, email address and applicant ID number. The information will be sent to you electronically. Please note, NCSI cannot provide you with the determination that was made on your background screen. The copy you are provided will show only the information that was used to reach the determination.

  17. What if it is determined that I have not passed the Screening, will I have an opportunity to appeal that decision?

    Please refer to question 15.


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