US Olympic Committee Accused of Cover-up in Larry Nassar Case

A report from a U.S. Senate subcommittee has called out several organizations for a “cover-up” related to the serial abuse of hundreds of girls and young women by a now-disgraced and jailed former U.S. Olympic team doctor. Our hearts ache for these survivors and we hope that this report will lead to a fundamental shift in the way we view institutional accountability in cases of sexual violence.

According to the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection and ranking member of the Senate subcommittee overseeing the Olympics, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, and the US Olympic Committee not only failed to protect athletes from Dr. Larry Nassar but also engaged in a “cover-up,” which resulted in more women and girls suffering abuse.

As survivors and advocates with experience in the clergy sexual abuse crisis, the news of continuing and ongoing cover-ups is both unsurprising and incredibly disappointing. Instead of learning from the moral and criminal failings of Catholic Church officials when it comes to cases of institutional sexual violence, it appears instead as if officials at MSU USA Gymnastics, and the USOC copied their playbook instead. We hope that accountability continues at these organizations, and that criminal proceedings continue to investigate the officials who failed in their duty to protect these girls and young women. 

We also hope that this report will be widely read and discussed in schools and in pews, in carpools and at dinner tables. The more that the public is made aware of these failures and crimes, the more that the public outrage will lead to prevention. As is becoming clearer and clearer by the day, we cannot count on our educational, athletic, and religious institutions to protect our children, and so we must arm ourselves with knowledge about what went wrong in the past so that we can prevent these kind of scandals from hurting more children in the future.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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