11.02.20

Trump signs Olympics reform legislation from Gardner, DeGette

President Donald Trump signed into law on Friday a bill backed by U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette that would establish safeguards against sexual abuse in U.S. Olympic and Paralympic sports, and also create a commission to review the operations of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

The legislation was a response to the crimes of Larry Nassar, the former national team doctor for USA Gymnastics, who received up to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing scores of female athletes. Olympic officials concealed the allegations against him and did not act to prevent future victimization.

Among other features, the new law creates a responsibility for the committee to report immediately to law enforcement any allegation of abuse against a minor athlete. The law also forbids employees from aiding others who commit sexual misconduct in obtaining new jobs.

“Our nation’s Olympians dedicate their lives to representing our country on the world stage. Today, we are taking steps to ensure the organization created to care for them is doing exactly that,” DeGette said.

A 16-member commission, whose membership will include current or former athletes, will also study the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s diversity, the participation of athletes from various demographics, and the input of athletes in the organization’s policymaking.

“This commission will help the U.S. Olympic Committee’s presence in Colorado grow even stronger and make sure we do a better job looking out for the futures of our Olympic and Paralympic athletes,” Gardner said.

Also cosponsoring the House of Representatives’ version of the legislation were U.S. Reps. Joe Neguse, Scott Tipton, Doug Lamborn and Jason Crow.

 

By: Michael Karlik

Colorado Politics