USOC Launches Agency Aimed At Investigating, Preventing Sexual Abuse In Sport
The USOC BOD yesterday “approved the creation of an independent agency aimed at addressing sexual abuse in sport,” according to Kelly Whiteside of USA TODAY. The group will “investigate and adjudicate allegations of sexual abuse in the sports that are managed by USOC national governing bodies.” The BOD also approved $5.2M of funding for the agency “over the five-year period” beginning in ‘15. The NGBs collectively will “fund the same amount as the USOC” -- $1.04M per year. The USOC hopes to raise another $10-15M for the initiative. USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said that the plan is for the agency "to begin operating by the beginning of next year.” He said, “It will be responsible for education and awareness but also for conducting investigations. It's a huge step forward in an area that is, frankly, complex. I'm incredibly excited we're in position to lead this important effort.” Whiteside notes USA Swimming Exec Dir Chuck Wielgus last week withdrew from consideration from the Int’l Swimming HOF after a group of 19 women who said that they "were sexually abused by U.S. swim coaches” petitioned the HOF. They said that Wielgus “didn't do enough on the issue during his tenure” (USA TODAY, 6/11). Blackmun said, “There was a vacuum there and we decide to fill that vacuum.” In Colorado Springs, Joe Paisley noted the USOC “hopes to expand early next year to aid” existing NGBs’ own SafeSport programs (GAZETTE.com, 6/10).