Wednesday | February 7, 2018

Scott Joins Colleagues in Announcing Resolution, Bipartisan Support to Establish an Investigation into the U.S Olympic Committee & USA Gymnastics Over Decades of Sexual Abuse

(Washington, DC)— In a joint press conference today in the U.S. Capitol, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) joined a group of his colleagues, including Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Joni Ernst (R-IA), to unveil their resolution and growing bipartisan support to establish a special committee in the Senate 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.

At the press conference, Senator Scott said, “The Olympics start in just a couple of days, and every single athlete should know that we care, and that we’re paying attention. We take great pride in our Olympic athletes, and they should know that as they sacrifice so much to train and represent the United States of America on the world stage, they should be safe. In this regard, USOC and the USA Gymnastics have clearly failed our athletes. My heart goes out to the women affected and their families. This investigation is so important because we should know what happened, to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Every single person should be respected. Every single woman should be respected, and it did not happen. It cannot happen again. Because of Senators Ernst’s and Shaheen’s leadership we are in a better position to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

The text of the resolution can be read here.

The resolution is also cosponsored by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Steve Daines (R-MT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Richard Burr (R-NC), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Tina Smith (D-MN). It also has the endorsement of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence.

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 determining 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 the USOC and USA Gymnastics accountable.

On Friday, members of this group called on USOC CEO Scott Blackmun to step down in light of press reports that Blackmun was aware of 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.

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