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US women's hockey team threatens to sit out championship in fight for fair wages and support

vencavolrab/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. women's national hockey team is threatening to sit out the upcoming IHF World Championship in an effort to secure fair wages and support from the national governing body.

Team captain Meghan Duggan said "we are asking for a living wage and for USA Hockey to fully support its programs for women and girls and stop treating us like an afterthought," according to ESPN. "We have represented our country with dignity and deserve to be treated with fairness and respect."

In a statement, Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey acknowledged the players' concerns. The organization has "proactively increased our level of direct support to the Women's National Team as we prepare for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games," Ogrean said.

The U.S. has won gold in six of the last eight IHF World Championships and has medaled in every Olympics.

USA Hockey's statement said it would implement a six-month training camp for the Women's National Team ahead of next year's Olympics, as well as additional stipends and incentives. Under the changes, USA Hockey says players could make $85,000.

Attorney John B. Langel, who is representing the women's national team, disputes that figure, saying that it would only apply in Olympic years and that the majority would come from the U.S. Olympic Committee, not from USA Hockey.

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