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US Women's hockey team plans to skip World Championships

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We have asked USA Hockey for equitable support as required by the Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act.

Officials also vowed to field an alternate team for the world championships later this month in Plymouth, Mich., if necessary.

Lamoureux-Davidson said the hockey players have been in touch with soccer players about their dispute, which is ongoing; Langel represented USA women's soccer players from 1998 to 2014.

The Canadians and Americans are slated to play on the tournament's opening night, March 31.

The Women's World Championship is set to kick off at the end of the month in Plymouth, Michigan, which means without the USA team, the tournament loses its hosts and defending champions. All but two of the team members have posted about the strike on social media, as have other women athletes.

FILE - In this February 7, 2017, file photo, WNHL player Hilary Knight answers questions during an interview in NY. USA Hockey's statement also glossed over one of the biggest issues, Lamoureux-Davidson explained.

During the remainder of the four-year period, they said in a statement, USA Hockey "pays virtually nothing, despite its expectation that in each of the non-Olympic years, the players train full time and compete throughout the year, including in the World Championships".

Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey said, "In our role as the national governing body, USA Hockey trains and selects teams for worldwide competition". Perhaps after letting go of former Players Association head Rich Nichols, they've softened their hardline stance.

If Ogrean, a highly-regarded veteran of Olympic sports governance who is retiring in August, somehow can not see the ugly ramifications of such a fight, the USOC needs to step in immediately and help him understand.

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After learning USA Hockey was attempting to find an alternate team, the players said "we regret that they have not instead chosen to reconsider their treatment of the current world championship-winning team".

Players say USA Hockey provides players $1,000 a month for six months during the Olympic period and nearly nothing the remainder of the time despite expectations of full-time training and competition, adding that players have two or three jobs and rely on family for financial support. "During that six months, they would pay us about $20,000, and the rest would come from the USOC". He characterized the negotiating gap with USA Hockey as a chasm.

This decision to ditch the World Championships "didn't just happen overnight", Jocelyn Lameroux-Davidson, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, said.

But the reigning team has announced it will sit out of the 2017 games in protest of unequal wages that players said pale in comparison to the men's team's earnings. The United States has won the past three world championships.

USA Hockey said the organization and the U.S. Olympic Committee provide national team players with financial support, training opportunities, camps and strength and conditioning programs. The women say there are pervasive, possibly illegal inequities in how USA Hockey treats male and female players - in terms of equipment, meals, hotel accommodations, staffing, marketing and PR, among other things.

USA Hockey said each player participating in the Olympics in South Korea next February could receive up to $85,000, which also includes medal incentives.

The national team immediately issued a statement disputing USA Hockey's figures.

"Every single playing is still waking up every morning and training and preparing like we are going to show up for camp on the 21st", Lamoureux-Davidson said Thursday after the deadline passed.

In addition to more pay, the players want girls to have equal development opportunities as boys.

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