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Olympians, athlete advocates call for USOC CEO Scott Blackmun’s resignation

By in Press Enterprise on February 8, 2018

By Scott Reid

A group of former Olympians and longtime athletes’ rights advocates have sent the House Committee on Energy and Commerce a letter demanding U.S.Olympic Committee chief executive Scott Blackmun.

In a 13-page memo sent to the House committee, which is currently investigating USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming and USA Taekwondo, the group details what it called numerous instances where the USOC failed to protect athletes from sexual abuse.

Here’s the (edited) letter:

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce receives documentation that Blackmun
failed to ensure that National Governing Bodies (NGBs) protected athletes from sexual
abuse.
New York, NY – February 7, 2018 — The Committee to Restore Integrity to the USOC has provided the
House Committee on Energy and Commerce a 13-page memo, along with supporting documentation,
which outlines the numerous opportunities that the USOC had to prevent athletes from being sexually
abused.
The memo states that Blackmun and the USOC knew going back nearly three decades that athlete
sexual abuse was a frequent and reoccurring problem within the Olympic movement. According to the
memo, Blackmun and the USOC refused to hold themselves or NGBs accountable for their failures to
protect athletes in order to avoid civil liability. In the process, the Committee to Restore Integrity to
the USOC states that Blackmun and the USOC created the underlying conditions for sexual abuse to
thrive.
The Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act gives the USOC the authority and responsibility to
demand that sport National Governing Bodies protect athletes from sexual abuse and other harms.
Instead, the memo outlines numerous times that Blackmun refused to act in the interests of athletes.
During Blackmun’s association with the USOC, the memo claims:
1) The USOC gave NGBs the funds to fend off athletes’ demands for protection from abusive
coaches in AAA arbitrations, as mandated by the Sports Act. Meanwhile, athletes are forced to
pay for and find outside private counsel. Unlike other civil rights laws, athletes […]    

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