Sport

US Olympic Committee Head Resigns From the Office After Sex Abuse Scandal

US Olympic Committee Head Resigns From the Office After Sex Abuse Scandal”

A number of critics, including athletes who said they were abused and two US senators - Iowa Republican Joni Ernst and New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen - had called for the ouster of Blackmun and USOC board members, accusing them of failing to act promptly on complaints raised against Nassar and fostering a culture of silence.

Blackmun became chief executive in 2010 and in January disclosed that he had prostate cancer, a diagnosis that kept him from attending the recent Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

There is mounting evidence that the USOC was presented with evidence of sexual abuse years before the public first learned about Nassar - and evidence they chose to ignore the warnings.

Susanne Lyons, a current USOC board member, will serve as acting CEO.

Other steps were outlined by Olympic Committee board Chairman Larry Probst, who said the organization will double its financial commitment to the Denver-based Center for Safe Sport.

According to the amended complaint, which was obtained by USA TODAY Sports on Thursday night, Moore alleges that he went to Nassar's home to receive treatment for a shoulder injury when he was 16 years old.

Nassar, the former team doctor for USA Gymnastics, has been convicted in three courts of charges that include possession of child pornography and abusing his former patients.

CEO Scott Blackmun has stepped down from his post, citing ongoing health issues.

The USOC said it was starting several initiatives, including providing new funding and resources for Nassar victims and others in Olympic sports who have been subject to abuse.

A team spokeswoman, Leslie King, declined to explain the circumstances of Peszek's departure or say when the exit occurred.

"Under his leadership, Usoc has focused almost all its efforts on money and medals while our athletes' safety has taken a back seat".

It was a herculean task that involved raising millions of dollars to start an entity independent of the USOC that could police abuse cases in a similar manner as the US Anti-Doping Agency runs the anti-doping system in the United States.

Late last month, the entire board of USA Gymnastics announced they will resign.

But he faced mounting scrutiny over how the organization handled abuse allegations against Nassar, especially after reports revealed that the USOC declined to intervene after learning of Nassar's potential crimes in 2015.

His announcement comes after two senators called for his resignation.

MacKay Moore, a former member of the USA women's junior national team, was among those who testified, and she detailed how, starting at age 10, she was befriended by Nassar and groomed for his "special treatment".

"The USOC can either position itself as a leader in the protection of young athletes or it can wait until it is forced to deal with the problem under much more hard circumstances", wrote USA Gymnastics CEO Bob Colarossi in an eerily prescient 1999 letter to officials at the USOC.

"As the leader of the US Olympic and Paralympic community, the USOC must ensure that its governance structure unequivocally provides the ability to oversee and act when necessary to protect athletes", the statement reads.

Sen Dianne Feinstein, who has called for changes to Olympic sports law to protect children from abuse, also tweeted about Blackmun's resignation. We have made clear that if these changes are not successful, we will pursue decertification of USAG, our strongest possible punitive action.



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