Dingell Questions U.S. Olympic Officials: “It is Clear That the Systems Designed to Protect Athletes Failed”
Washington, DC, May 24, 2018
Yesterday, U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) questioned members of the U.S. Olympic community at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee entitled, “Examining the Olympic Community’s Ability to Protect Athletes from Sexual Abuse.” Dingell pressed the officials on their systematic failure to protect young athletes and how the newfound U.S. Center for SafeSport will implement sexual assault policies and procedures to prevent similar abuses in the future.
“It is troubling that leaders in the Olympic community could not sufficiently answer concerns regarding the complete failure of the systems meant to protect young athletes, including the lack of urgency in opening the U.S. Center for SafeSport,” Dingell said. “Those of us in Michigan have stood witness to the devastating and inexcusable abuse of power that has forever scarred the lives of hundreds of athletes.
“Team USA is more than just a team; it is 13 million young men and women across our country that rely on the safeguards promised by the Olympic Committee. It should not have taken 7 years to create an independent agency to investigate wide ranging claims against bad actors and yesterday’s hearing made it clear- the time for talk is over and now the Olympic Committee must walk their talk.”
For video of Dingell’s questioning, please click here.
In January 2018, Dingell voted in support of the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act which has since been signed into law. The legislation authorized the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s jurisdiction over investigations into alleged code violations -including sexual assault and harassment- against leaders in the Olympic and Paralympic Movement’s 47 member organizations.