United States Olympics Committee failed to protect athletes from sex abuse

Vastavam web: The United States Olympics Committee failed to protect athletes from the threat of sexual abuse, according to a report released on Monday that showed some top executives took no action as the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal was unfolding. The report, which was commissioned by the USOC and carried out by law firm Ropes & Gray, offered details on what it called the “inaction” of former chief executive Scott Blackmun and former chief of sport performance Alan Ashley.

According to the 233-page report, Blackmun and Ashley were made aware of allegations against Nassar by then-USA Gymnastics chief executive Steve Penny in July 2015 but neither shared the information with others in the organisation. The report also said that dozens of girls and young women were abused during the year-long period between mid-2015 and September 2016 when the Nassar story broke.

Blackmun resigned in February for medical reasons. Ashley was fired on Monday after USOC Chief Executive Sarah Hirshland was made aware of the report. The report called Nassar’s ability to abuse athletes for nearly 30 years “a manifestation of the broader failures at USAG and the USOC to adopt appropriate child-protective policies and procedures to ensure a culture of safety for young athletes.”

The USOC has already implemented reforms and initiatives, including instituting new leadership and stronger accountability measures. It is also seeking to revoke USA Gymnastics’ status as the national governing body for the sport. “Sexual abuse, harassment and discrimination have no place in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic community,” she said. “And it’s on all of us – member organizations, institutions and individuals alike – to foster a healthy culture for competitive excellence.”