Senators call for special committee to investigate Olympic abuse

Niels Lesniewski, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Olympics

WASHINGTON -- Two days ahead of the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics, a bipartisan group of senators is trying to set up a special committee to investigate the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The 18 senators, led by Republican Joni Ernst of Iowa and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, unveiled their resolution on Wednesday.

"We are introducing this bipartisan resolution to establish a special committee entirely focused on investigating how this abuse was allowed to go on for decades, why leaders of the USOC and USA Gymnastics failed to protect these women, and the path forward to put an end to this type of outrageous abuse," Ernst said. "Now Congress has an opportunity to stand up for the brave survivors who came forward, for our athletes, for our children. I am proud to stand with Senator Shaheen and our colleagues to fight to stop this abuse once and for all."

Congress has already acted to clear legislation designed to impose new reporting requirements on organizations under the U.S. Olympic Committee umbrella, but the resolution would promote a broader Senate investigation.

The resolution would set up a panel of four members from each party appointed by leadership, with subpoena power but not legislative authority. The resolution would require at least half the membership be female.

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Both the Senate Judiciary and Commerce, Science and Transportation committees have been conducting their own reviews of the U.S. Olympic Committee and related organizations. The Commerce Committee generally has lead jurisdiction with respect to Olympic and amateur sports.

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