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Volume 26 No. 60
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Proposed Legislation Could Bring Change To USOC's Structure

Despite the wide scope of the proposal, DeGette said that she is not calling for the collapse of the USOC

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) is "proposing legislation that could lead to a fundamental overhaul" of the USOC and its Olympic NGB's in the country, according to Will Hobson of the WASHINGTON POST. Entitled the Strengthening U.S. Olympics Act, the bill "would create a commission to study the structure of the USOC and individual sport" NGBs. It "mirrors a bill proposed in January" by Sen. Cory Gardner ­(R-Colo.), who was also at ­a news conference yesterday announcing the proposal. The commission "would have 16 members, at least eight of them current or former Olympic or Paralympic athletes, and would have nine months to conduct its study before submitting a report to Congress that could become the basis for further legislation changing the structure of the USOC and sport NGBs" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/18). In California, Scott Reid notes for "more than two years there has been mounting pressure on Congress to create greater accountability within the USOC" and its nearly 50 NGBs. Despite the proposal, DeGette said that she is "not calling for collapse of the USOC" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 6/18).

THE TIME IS NOW: In DC, Sally Jenkins notes the legislation calls for an "independent, bipartisan, ­16-member board to investigate and make recommendations for reshaping the USOC, armed with subpoena power to look into everything from finances to board governance." The bill is "needed, and it should pass." Maybe the "most important part of the proposed legislation would be the makeup of the commission: DeGette and Gardner want it stocked with a minimum of eight Olympic athletes." Under the bill, the "top Democratic and Republican lawmakers in both the House and Senate would also each appoint four members." It is "time for fresh eyes." What is "needed is a comprehensive review that will result in an entire redistribution of power, and of funding, in favor of the athlete" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/18).