Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden has joined a bipartisan group of Senators to urge the establishment of a special Senate committee to investigate the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and USA Gymnastics regarding how team doctor Larry Nassar was allowed to sexually abuse female gymnasts over decades.
“It’s long overdue that those involved in the Larry Nassar case be held accountable for their inaction, and provide answers to the deeply troubling questions that linger for victims and their families,” Wyden said today. “I am inspired by the dozens of women who bravely shared their stories. A Senate investigation will help to prevent this kind of abuse from persisting in the future within USA Gymnastics, and bring about the change these courageous women deserve.”
The text of the resolution can be read here.
The call for this committee comes after press reports that USOC CEO Scott Blackmun knew about sexual abuse allegations against ex-team USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar in 2015. This news came a week after Blackmun published a letter to Team USA, pledging an independent investigation to uncover “who knew what and when,” while failing to admit his own supposed direct knowledge of allegations that were brought to his attention.
Specifically, the resolution establishes a special committee of the Senate that is tasked with:
Investigating the USOC and national sports governing bodies, including USA Gymnastics, and determine the extent to which these organizations were complicit in the criminal or negligent behavior of their employees relative to sexual abuse;
Identifying and recommending solutions to the systemic failures at the USOC and national sports governing bodies, including USA Gymnastics, that allowed for pervasive sexual abuse to continue for decades;
Identifying actions that must be taken by the USOC and national sports governing bodies, including USA Gymnastics, to ensure increased transparency and protections for children, athletes and their families; and
Making findings and recommendations on any additional actions that may be necessary to hold USOC and USA Gymnastics accountable.
Additional cosponsors of the resolution include: Senators Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Jodi Ernst, R-Iowa, Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Steve Daines, R-Mont., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Tim Scott, R-S.C., Chris Van-Hollen, D-Md., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Tina Smith, D-Minn.