U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) sent a bipartisan letter to U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), urging them to hold an oversight hearing on the reports of systemic sexual abuse of youth and amateur Olympic-sport athletes, under the governance of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC). The issue was most recently brought to light by several members of USA Gymnastics who came forward, detailing stories of surviving sexual abuse from Dr. Larry Nassar and USOC’s part in perpetuating it.
“Although Nassar will be held accountable for his crimes, the American public is still grappling with unanswered questions about the degree to which these organizations were complicit in protecting a predator by creating a culture that prioritized winning over the well-being of athletes,” wrote the senators. “We continue to hear reports that indicate that the organization repeatedly ignored credible complaints from the athletes and even attempted to silence victims who spoke out to expose this criminal activity.”
The senators continued, “We believe an oversight hearing is necessary to examine the extent to which the institutional culture of amateur sports has facilitated, tolerated, and ignored the sexual abuse of vulnerable young athletes, and to ensure that the national governing bodies of these sports implement appropriate measures to address and prevent such abuse.”
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